In a turn of events for Malawi football, Standard Bank has withdrawn its K46.1 million sponsorship from the Division One leagues in the country’s three regions, barely a year after signing a three-year deal with Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
Despite the setback, FAM has stepped in to sponsor the leagues through newly-introduced K75 million special grant subventions to the regional associations, which will now be renamed Mpira TV Regional Division One Leagues.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda has thanked Standard Bank for their initial sponsorship and left the door open for future partnerships.
“We treasure the good times and support the bank gave community football and would like to thank Standard Bank for making a bold decision to become the first ever sponsor of the Division One leagues nationwide. Considering that the reasons given are not football related, we have huge hope that they will return very soon and our door remains open for future partnerships,” he said.
Though the announcement was a blow to the regional associations, FAM has managed to intervene to ensure there is no gap in the regional competitions.
Raphael Humba, chairperson of the Southern Region Football Association and Lameck Khonje, chairperson of the Northern Region Football Association have both thanked FAM for its intervention, while Khonje stated that the impact of the sponsorship withdrawal would not be felt as a result of FAM’s intervention.
Humba however said the association has not yet received an official communication from FAM on the development.