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Falling short

Blantyre derby grosses K50 million, fails to beat record

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Walter Nyamilandu

Last Saturday’s FDH Bank Cup semi-final between traditional arch-rivals Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe grossed K48.9 million in gate revenue.

The amount falls short of the record K72 million which Football Association of Malawi (Fam) realised from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Malawi and Ethiopia at the same venue in June.

However, the amount is higher than the K44.8 million which was realised when the two sides met at Kamuzu Stadium on August 14.

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The net revenue from Saturday’s crunching tie was K39.2 million, with Fam spending K9.7 million.

Fam Marketing and Broadcasting Manager Tulipo Mwenelupembe said the association is satisfied with the revenue.

“We are still transitioning from the traditional way of ticketing to pre-sales. It is pleasing that our fans have embraced the pre-sale of tickets. You may wish to know that out of the total amount, only K16.4 million was realised from sales of tickets on the day. This is about 33 percent of the total revenue.

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“So we are on the right track, but there is room for improvement. We would also like to acknowledge the good work done by security agencies, especially the police. They worked tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of match organisation were done in an orderly manner,” Mwenelupembe said.

From the amount, Bullets and Wanderers pocketed K9.8 million each.

Ground levy was also K9.8 million whereas Fam got K7.8 million.

Malawi National Council of Sports received K1.9 million whereas police walked away with K1.6 million.

Fam spent about K3.6 million on ticket printing and commissions.

Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga also expressed satisfaction with the gross revenue.

“The gate revenue is a true reflection of the crowd. We wanted to get more but we are satisfied with what we got,’’ Chigoga said.

Meanwhile, the cup’s final between Bullets and their reserve side has been shifted to October 23 at Kamuzu Stadium.

The initial date for the final was October 8.

Fam President Walter Nyamilandu said the change was made because Bullets Reserve have contributed seven players to the Malawi Under-20 National Football Team which is expected to take part in this year’s Cosafa Youth Championship in eSwatini.

“The change was imminent. The competitions committee was consulting on the dates. Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve has taken everyone by surprise and this scenario was unforeseen,’’ Nyamilandu said.

Bullets Reserve players who are in the Under-20 squad are Yamikani Mologeni, Andrew Lameck, Kondwani Chirwa, Happy Mphepo, Emmanuel Savieli, Lloyd Aaron and Wongani Kaponya.

The junior Flames are camping at Mpira Village in Blantyre.

Bullets reached the final after thrashing Wanderers 4-0 at Bingu National Stadium whereas Reserve made it after edging Blue Eagles 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium.

The match between Bullets and their juniors will be a repeat of the 1997 Press Cup final in which the People’s Team met its reserve side, which was popularly known as Banyamulenge at the time.

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