Sponsors of one of the oldest Cup in the country the Carlsberg Cup, Castel Malawi have announced the cancellation of sponsorship for the 2019 Cup due to financial constraints.
The football fraternity has waited for the K40 million competition to be launched in April according to Football Association of Malawi’s calendar, but the company said they were sorting out some issues.
Kulinji.com has seen a letter from Castel’s Group Legal Counsel and Company Secretary, Chipiliro Luhanga Kauka to FAM indicating they have decided to cancel the sponsorship until further notice.
“Kindly note that 2019 has been a challenging year and this has forced the company to operate on a leaner budget. However, this does not mean that the company has abandoned its commitment and involvement in supporting professional football in Malawi. The Company will provide further details on the way forward at a later stage,” reads the letter.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu described the development as heartbreaking considering the people’s expectation for the kick off of the 2019 competition.
“This is a very sad day for Malawi Football. The Carlsberg Cup was one of the biggest platforms for football development. It was a rare platform that gave the lower league sides a chance to compete pound by pound with the big boys from the elite league. A number of rookies from lower league made their breakthrough via the Carlsberg Cup and are today big-name players in top teams. I am short of words to explain how saddened we are with this development,” said Nyamilandu.
He however said they understand the financial problems being faced by the company which was recently the sponsors of the Malawi National Football team and sponsors of the Copa Coca-Cola Schools Developmental tournament.
“The company has given us hope and assurance that the situation is short term and that the Cup and indeed the extended football sponsorships from Castle Malawi will return once the operations stabilises. FAM will continue to engage Castle Malawi on exploring ways to continue working together in football development while urging our stakeholders to continue patronizing its products. We will always cherish the working relationship we had with Castle Malawi,” he said.
Carlsberg Cup was launched in the country in 2000 until 2003 when the company took a break following the abandonment of the final match involving Nyasa Big Bullets (formerly Total Big Bullets) and Be Forward Wanderers (MTL Wanderers) in extra time.
The company returned in 2012 until last year when Masters Security were crowned champions after stunning Be Forward Wanderers in the penalties to cut home K12 million prize money.
Wanderers and Bullets have joint most wins after being crowned three time each.
This means there is only one cup remaining in the country the FISD Cup since Airtel Malawi is yet to officiallt announce its stand on the Airtel Top Eight sponsorship despite indicating that they would continue sponsoring the competition.