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Fam dreams of K250 million cup

Buoyed by calls from the country’s soccer fraternity for sponsors to hike prize money for their competitions, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) wants to come up with a tournament worth K250 million.

Influential clubs, such as Nyasa Big Bullets, Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers, have been openly pouring scorn on what teams get from competitions in comparison to their expenses.

Fam Commercial Director, Limbani Matola, said Fam understands the plight of clubs in terms of what they pocket from competitions and would like to have a tournament worth K250 million.

“We want to see the winning team pocketing not less than K50 million and each participating team getting K5 million from the competition. We believe this will adequately reward our teams for their sweat,” Matola said.

He said Fam was aware that the returns that teams get from football do not make good business; hence, the need to have a competition that can match what is spent by the clubs.

Bullets interim General Secretary, Albert Chigoga, said the hiking of prize money in all competitions was long overdue.

“We have been talking about commercialising our football for many years but, with the prize money on offer in local competitions, we cannot get anywhere. We need more [in] prize money for all competitions so that we can recover our expenses and break even,” he said.

Chigoga’s Wanderers counterpart, Mike Butao, said it was sad that total prize money for winners in all local competitions is less than K60 million.

“We spend more than K100 million every season to run our teams. But even if we were to sweep all top cups and league competitions, we would not be able to recover what we spend in a season. In Malawi, football runs on losses and the situation will worsen if prize money is not increased,” Butao said.

During the first quarter of the season, Silver announced that they would skip some competitions to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses based on their cost-benefit analysis.

The Central Bankers later rescinded their decision and went on to win the Airtel Top 8 Cup and pocketed K15 million.

Fisd Company Limited Marketing Manager, Wezi Chiumia, said his company responded to the outcry by hiking the sponsorship package of the Fisd Challenge Cup from last year’s K45 million to K50.2 million this season.

Chiumia said Fisd would consider another increment next season as “everything that has life must grow”.

Local top football competitions of the TNM Super League, Airtel Top 8, Carlsberg Cup and Fisd Challenge offer between K10 million and K15 million to the winner.

In contrast, champions in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League get the equivalent of more than K550 million for their efforts.

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