FAM has asked DPP acting president Arthur Peter Mutharika to increase sponsorship for the women football leagues across the country, which are at K3 million each, following the recent devaluation of the kwacha.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive member James Mwenda made the appeal on Saturday during the Central Region Women Football League prize presentation at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Mwenda, whose sentiment was shared by Central Region Women Football Committee (CRWFC) treasurer Janet Bauleni, said the devaluation will badly affect women football teams, most of which do not have steady sponsorship.
â€œMuch as we appreciate your support, with this devaluation, we would like you to consider increasing the sponsorship so that the teams can have a shoulder to lean on.
â€œThe standard of play at national level has improved tremendously. Now our women are able to compete at national level because of these leagues. They contribute almost half of the players to the national team,â€ said Mwenda who was flanked by another FAM executive member David Dube.
â€œThe girls are at risk of being preyed on by men, but the games help them to avoid indulging into immoral behaviours,â€ said Mwenda who appealed to Mutharika to consider extending sponsorship to the menâ€™s leagues in other regions as is the case in the South.
Mutharika, who was making his first public appearance since the death of his brother Bingu on April 5 2012, sponsors the Southern Region Football League (SRFL) to the tune of K5 million.
Speaking on behalf of Mutharika, his personal assistant Beni Phiri, who did not comment on Mwendaâ€™s appeals, bemoaned poor patronage at the event. Phiri said Mutharika could not speak at the function as he is still mourning his brother Bingu.
â€œIf he had not come with our party supporters, there would have been only three people here at the stadium. If it were in business, we could have blamed the marketing department for failing its duty. We hope next time we will see a change in patronage,â€ he said.
Phiri asked the women football players to be Mutharikaâ€™s ambassadors during the 2014 elections.
During the ceremony, DD Sunshine and DD Sunshine Youth received K300 000 and K150 000, respectively, for finishing on first and second positions, respectively. Abramo Queens and One Goal who finished third and fourth received K80 000 and K40 000 respectively.
In individual wards, DD Senior striker Linda Kasenda and Kamuzu Barracks goalkeeper Maria Banda received K10 000 and miniatures for being the top goalscorer and Player of the Tournament, respectively.
In media category, Elijah Phimbi of Star Radio, Mike Bango and Joe Mwase of Zodiak Broadcasting Station, were voted as best sport presenters in electronic media. Nation Publications Limited (NPL) sports correspondent Frankie Kalilombe and Precious Msosa of Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) made it in print category.
In the dayâ€™s ceremonial game, Kamuzu Barracks and Abramo Queens settled for a goalless draw.
Banda saved Asili Makwinjaâ€™s penalty in the first-half.