Castel Malawi splashes K1 billion for Castel Challenge Cup
By Mphatso Malidadi & Peter Fote:
Castel Malawi, formerly Carlsberg Malawi, has made a sensational return to football after announcing a whooping K1 billion sponsorship for Castel Challenge Cup, making it the biggest trophy in the country.
The cup, which will start at district level, is valued at K320 million annually and will run for three years.
National champions will pocket K50 million, with the runners-up pocketing half the amount. The two semi-finalists will get K10 million each while the four quarter-finalists will pocket K5 million each.
Castel Malawi broke the news at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre, where Minister of Youth and Sports Uchizi Mkandawire was the guest of honour.
The company’s managing director Thomas Reynaud said the event marked the beginning of an exciting journey for football fans and players alike.
“This cup is not just another sporting event; it is a celebration of the beautiful game that has the power to unite and develop football from the grassroot. We, as a company, are challenging footballers in the country to live to their full potential.
“To achieve this, I am pleased to announce that Castel is investing about K1 billion in this cup, with over K320 million annually. This is an enormous economic responsibility and great platform for talent development in Malawi. Our commitment is to make sure we support the government in talent development from the grassroots and that the business positively impacts the society,” Reynaud said.
He said, internally, the company kept on investing in its people and growing the business to make a bigger economic contribution to the country.
A visibly excited Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu said Castel has handsomely paid back to the football fraternity on its return to sponsoring football.
“We cannot wait to ignite the fire that was lacking to catapult the game of football to greater heights. Of utmost significance this evening is the commitment that Castel has set aside over K1 billion for sponsorship of the Castel Challenge Cup for three years, from 2023 to 2025.
“For this year alone, Castel is pumping over K320 million into the football competition. This is humongous by our standards. It is a dream come true because the football family has been yearning for such lucrative sponsorship for a long time. I cannot stop pinching myself for such a windfall,” he said.
Nyamilandu asked the guest of honour to allow him to declare, without any sense of contradiction, that the Castel Challenge Cup was the biggest football sponsorship in the country.
“I applaud Castel for Raising the Bar very high. They deserve a big hand. We, at Fam, are happy to see that more resources have been channelled directly to the teams and players, thereby signalling that this competition is for the benefit of the main actors of the game,” he said.
On his part, Mkandawire said the cup will help unearth football talent from the grassroots.
“We thank Castel Malawi for complementing the government’s efforts in developing sports,” he said.
Teams from districts, regions and the Super League will take part in the Castel Challenge Cup.
Defunct Masters Security won the last edition of the Carlsberg Cup after beating Mighty Mukuru Wanderers, then Be Forward Wanderers, on post-match penalties in 2018.