Battered and bruised TNM Super League champions, Be Forward Wanderers, were forced to borrow money from various sources for their players to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League match against AS Vita.
Wanderers were on the verge of pulling out of the elite continental club competition after their sponsor, Be Forward Limited, took back K53 million meant for the preliminary round first-leg match.
The Japanese second-hand car dealers made the decision after learning about a player sit-in during preparations for Sunday’s match in the DRC capital, Kinshasa, which Wanderers lost 4-0.
This prompted Wanderers to ask Football Association of Malawi to notify Caf about the team’s intention to pull out of the Champions League.
But after being told of the consequences of their intended action, Nomads u-turned and found ways of raising money to meet the costs of fulfilling the Vita assignment.
Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, said club officials wanted to avoid the punishment of a K3.7 million fine and a two-year ban from Caf tournaments.
Butao said the club’s trustees and Executive Committee members made contributions and borrowed from several sources to ensure that the team made the trip.
“We approached our sponsors and asked them to allow us to proceed with participation in the competition. It is better for us to remain in the competition than face the consequences of withdrawing,” Butao said.
He said the officials raised K21 million for the team’s air tickets and negotiated with Vita to foot the Nomads’ accommodation bills, hoping that they (Wanderers) would reciprocate in the return match scheduled for February 21 at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Butao said the club was working on initiatives aimed at raising K15 million to meet part of the expenses of hosting Vita.
“We may have failed to raise the amount of money we had intended to in the Caf Imenyedwe Promotion, but we have not given up. There are other channels of sourcing money. We are working day and night to meet our targets,” he said.
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