Some teams in the populous Bangwe Township in Blantyre have threatened to boycott the recently launched football tournament sponsored by Justice Katika due to what they have described as low prize money.
Two committee members of the Bangwe League, Adam Kambata and Dave Semani, complained this week that the K80 000 (about $479) winnersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ prize is on the lower side compared to what the areaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s parliamentarian and businessperson Henry Shawa is offering for a similar tournament.
“While we appreciate Mr KatikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gesture to sponsor a tournament to the tune of K1 million (about $6 000), we feel the prize money is on the lower side.
“Hon. Shawa has pledged to sponsor another tournament to the tune of K3 million (about $17 964) and the winner will get K200 000 (about $1 197). So, the teams are saying they would rather compete in that tournament because it will be worth the sweat,” said Kambata.
He said unless the prize money is adjusted, teams are reluctant to take part in KatikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tournament.
Moses Mnozi, who owns Mvula Barracks, confirmed that they have asked organisers of the Katika tournament to improve the stakes.
“We spend a lot in preparing for such tournaments and things have gone up. The prize money in KatikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trophy is too little considering expenses teams incur.
“The total prize money of K180 000 (about $1 077) is less than what Hon. Shaba is offering for the winner alone, which is K200 000 (about $1 197),” Mnozi argued.
But one of the organisers of the Katika competition Basiano Bauleni played down the teamsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ concern, claiming the sponsor (Katika) has agreed to raise the prizes.
“Indeed, the teams raised that concern and when I took up the issue with the sponsor, he thought it wise to raise the winnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s prize to K100 000 (about $600) from K80 000 (about $479).