The cat is finally out of the bag after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) disclosed that the inaugural champions of the newly introduced FDH Bank Cup will walk away with K25 million, with runners-up going away with K8 million.
It is the biggest prize money for local champions as Super League winners get K15 million whereas champions for the defunct Fisd Challenge Cup got K20 million. Airtel Top 8 Cup winners used to pocket K15 million.
Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda, addressing the media at Mpira Village in Blantyre yesterday, said cup games would be played between this month and September this year, adding that 16 Super League teams and 62 regional Premier Division sides would also participate.
The former Northern Region Football Association general secretary added that the top eight Super League teams would be seeded in the first round.
“We went into a football partnership with FDH Bank in 2019 and we were supposed to start the competition last year but, due to the Covid outbreak, we failed to do so. So, today, we are here to announce that we are ready with the cup. The cup will be played on a knockout basis. The regional sides will play in a regional championship in their respective regions to come up with 16 teams that will qualify for the national phase.
FDH Bank Marketing Manager Ronald Chimchere pledged a long-term partnership with sports, saying the cup would help improve football standards in Malawi.
“This cup is coming at the right time as the Malawi National Football Team has qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals slated for Cameroon. We are here to stay and we, as a bank, value sporting activities, more especially football.
“We are happy that the FDH Bank cup will be staged this year. We are hoping that that cup will go a long way in unearthing talent that will be considered in big clubs,” Chimchere said.
Other incentives will see each of the 16 qualifying teams from regional leagues receive K500.000 and two match balls each whereas semifinalists will also be kitted.
Super League leaders Silver Strikers Chief Executive Officer Thokozani Chimbali commended FDH Bank for unveiling what he termed “the most prestigious cup in Malawi”, saying it would bring competition among clubs.
“The four-month period is just perfect for a national cup. Winning the cup will be our mission,” he said.
Tigers Coach Trevor Kajawa believes that, despite starting the league on a low note, they can pull a surprise in the cup.
“Cup games are totally different from league games. We would be eager to win the first prize money because we know how it feels to win a trophy,” he said.