Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has disclosed that this year it will fund newly crowned champions Nyasa Big Bullets’ participation in the CAF Champions League.
This will be the first time for a local club to get such support.
However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, whose manifesto for his fifth term re-election bid pledged financial support towards Champions League and Confederations Cup representatives, could not confirm the initiative would be effected this year.
However, in an interview on Wednesday, Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda, did not disclose the amount of money they will offer Bullets.
“We are working on the figures,” he said.
Pressed if the money will be from the Super League sponsors TNM, Somba Banda said: “From other sources.”
Sulom recently said it does not have money to pay referees’ outstanding allowances.
Asked how optimistic he is that they will raise the money Somba-Banda said: “Having no money today does not qualify that we will not have it tomorrow.”
Financing the champions in the CAF Champions League is part of the promises Somba-Banda made as he campaigned for the presidency ahead of last year’s elections.
Local teams have, on several occasions, been shunning CAF tournaments, citing lack of funding.
In other countries, top-flight league sponsors bankroll the teams in such top competitions.
Banda’s manifesto reads in part: “The international competition not only presents an opportunity to compete against the best on the continent, but it also exposes the clubs’ sponsors and partners to a wider market beyond Malawi and Africa.”
On his part, Nyamilandu, who won a new mandate last month, said his committee would discuss the matter soon.
“This remains our strategic direction as clearly articulated in Raising The Bar manifesto. We will hold a strategic plan session soon to bring the manifesto alive,” he said.
Asked if he expects the support to start this year, the FAM president did not confirm.
“The outcome of this process [strategic sessions] will determine the extent of the support. We remain committed and passionate to supporting the cause,” he said.
Bullets have already signalled they will contest in the Champions League while Fisd Challenge Cup winners Blue Eagles want to compete in the Confederations Cup.
Sulom has only committed to supporting the Super League champions.
Bullets chief adminstration officer Albert Chigoga welcomed Sulom’s commitment.
“It is going to be good news if they live up to their promise. Clubs spend a lot of money when participating in the Champions League. This move will encourage more teams to be participating in the continental tournament,” he said.
The 2020 CAF clubs’ tournaments are expected to kick off in August this year. Bullets and Masters Security represented Malawi in the 2019 edition.