TNM Super League side Chitipa United set the ball rolling when it raised over K2 million through replica kits sales during the unveiling of the teams’ bus in Chitipa District on Friday.
Several government officials including Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama, Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo and Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Kezzie Msukwa attended the ceremony.
Msungama bought the replica at K500,000 whereas ministers such as Msukwa and Mtambo pledged K100,000 each.
Team manager for Chitipa, Watison Kabaye confirmed on Saturday that the club had raised over K2 million in sales of the replica kits.
“We received overwhelming response from the sports fraternity and we are happy because several people have supported us. It is a motivation for us that we can do it,” Kabaye said.
According to details from Chitipa, several top officials made pledges. Among the officials who made pledges were Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu, second vice president Othaniel Hara and executive committee member Chimango Munthali also pledged K100,000.
Members of Parliament Alunibwira Msongole and Nick Masebo pledged K250,000 and K100,000, respectively. Parliamentarian Werani Chilenga also pledged K100,000.
Kabaye also said the club had also entered into partnership with a Turkey-based company Kaptanspor to supply the replica kits for the team.
In his remarks, Msungama hailed the club for the initiative saying the gesture was worth emulating.
“It is a good initiative and as government we are very happy with what Chitipa has done. The club has set a good example,” Msungama said.
Msungama challenged football clubs in the country to be robust in resource mobilisation if they are to achieve commercialisation drive.
“Nothing for us without us, so if the clubs are to develop they should be thinking in those lines,” he said.
The club cleared the 32-seater coaster after raising K6.5 million through pledges to ease transport challenges. Most of the local clubs’ struggle to honour away fixtures in the TNM Super League due to transport problems. Chitipa finished on position 13 in the TNM Super League with 32 points from 30 games.