Local football has been thrown on the deathbed after Fisd Company Limited withdrew its K60 million sponsorship from the Challenge Cup.
It means the yet to be launched FDH Bank Cup is the only remaining national trophy after Airtel Malawi also withdrew sponsorship from the Top 8 Cup.
Fisd’s latest stance was revealed at Football Association of Malawi (Fam)’s first executive meeting for this year at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi.
“The committee resolved to accept Fisd Company LTD decision to pull out of sponsorship deal which expired on December 31st 2020 despite the company having an obligation to release sponsorship funds for the 2020/2021 season.
“Fisd has indicated that the decision has been arrived at due to current business operating environment of the company and its directors,” the statement reads.
It further states that Fam fully understands the plight of the company and is saddened that its five-year relationship with Fisd Limited has come to an end in unceremonious manner without a befitting send off.
“The withdraw of the sponsorship is a huge setback and big loss considering the impact the Cup had on Malawi football since it was introduced in 2016.
“To date the Fisd Challenge Cup was the only National Cup that provided a platform for amateur district teams to play against elite Super League teams,” the statement reads.
Fisd Marketing Manager Wezi Chiumia did not pick our calls.
Blue Eagles Chairperson Alexander Ngwala said it was painful to lose the sponsorship at a time they were planning to defend the cup.
“This is a setback not only to Eagles but the rest of the teams and football fraternity. We need competitions to improve our game. If we continue losing sponsorship like this, then our game is in trouble,” he said.
Eagles were crowned champions in December, 2019, after a 4-2 post-match penalty victory over Kamuzu Barracks (KB) at Civo Stadium.
For winning the cup, Eagles pocketed K20 million whereas KB got K7 million as runners-up.
The policemen went down in the history of the local game as the team that received the highest amount of prize money from one competition.
KB’s Francesco Kamdzeka won the top goal-scorer award with five goals and received K200,000.
Since its inception in 2016, Fisd increased the sponsorship money by 50 percent from K40 million to K60 million in 2019.