Silver Strikers Request Reserve Bank of Malawi for Caf sponsorship
Silver Strikers have requested their sponsor Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to consider bankrolling the Airtel Top 8 Cup kings’ participation in a Confederation of African Football (Caf) competition next year.
Silver interim General Secretary, Thabo Nyirenda, confirmed on Thursday that their Executive Committee requested the RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, after he hosted a dinner for the team in Lilongwe on Tuesday following their Airtel Cup exploits.
“We indeed made the request to our sponsor and they indicated that they would consider our request. The sponsor also pledged to buy us a new bus. However, for details talk to the RBM spokesperson [Mbane Ngwira],” Nyirenda said on Thursday.
Chiku Kalilombe, spokesperson of Silver Board of Trustees, confirmed their ambition for the Caf competitions, but insisted that money would be the biggest stumbling block.
“The ambition to participate in a Caf competition is there. However, the cost is high to justify participation. As a board, the first step in line with our ambition was getting the team in shape because you do not participate in Caf competitions when you don’t win cups.
“The second stage was to have the Executive Committee come up with a business plan, so that if a sponsor comes in it has to be complimentary. The sponsor knows our ambition but they have to be approached with a business plan. We have to do it together,” Kalilombe explained.
Ngwira did not revert as he promised when asked if they are ready to fund Silver’s Caf adventure. Silver last participated in the Cecafa Senior Club Championship in the early 1990s.
Super League of Malawi General Secretary, Williams Banda, said it was their wish that clubs should be competing on the international stage “but there is need for thorough preparations technically and financially.”
Football Association of Malawi Competitions Manager, Gomezgani Zakazaka, on Thursday said any team with the financial muscle can join the Champions League in the event that the champions and runners up are not able to.
Be Forward Wanderers are also eligible for Caf Confederations Cup by virtue of being Carlsberg Cup champions.
Caf rules and regulations state that “only the Champions League and the champion of the national league will be allowed to participate and the team that finished second in the league will not be allowed to engage in Champions League.
“In case the holder of the title is at the same time the champion of the national league‚ they will be entered with the runners-up of the national league and the team that finished third will not be allowed to participate.”
Most African clubs struggle to participate in continental competitions due to costs involved. Air tickets alone can cost K10 million travelling across the continent.
Nyasa Big Bullets are still swimming in debts, which have swollen to K124 million, due to their ill-conceived participation in the 2014 Champions League. Last year, Botswana champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs withdrew from the Champions League.
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