The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) marketing department has admitted that it failed to market the game in 2012, but blamed it all on external factors.
FAM commercial manager Casper Jangale said lack of willingness to pay for coverage on the part of local broadcasters, including MBC, failure of the SuperSport deal and the bad economic environment were the main hindrances to the success.
“As FAM, we had great plans to market the game, but external factors let us down. The game of football depends largely on TV rights for its success. Fifa runs its operations on TV rights, so does the English and South African football leagues. In Malawi, we have a situation where broadcasters will want to broadcast a match free,” said Jangale.
“We charge a small fee to broadcast a match, but to get such payments, it takes time as most of the broadcasters seems unwilling, which is a setback.”
Jangale said in Zambia, soccer is growing every day because of the coming in of SuperSport, which has given the game exposure and most companies are willing to invest in football because their products are exposed.
On failed sponsorship hunt for the Flames and also for more cup competitions, Jangale said it was impossible last season because of the bad economic environment that was prevailing.
“Companies were operating on austerity measures. They could not spare anything for football. In such a situation, what do you expect us to do? It has been all down to external factors,” he said.
FAM has also taken a swipe at critics who blame them for being overdependent on government.
“I do not know where this notion that FAM should be financially independent of government comes from. Of the 208 associations that govern football in the world, 75 percent of their activities are funded by government. I have to say it here that FAM will never be independent of government. We have our responsibilities and government has its responsibilities as well. If we submit, say a K200 million budget to government and government says it can provide only K150 million. As FAM, we need to find a solution together with government as to how we can get the remaining K50 million,” said Jangale.
Jangale said it is impossible for FAM to finance Flames independent of government.
Jangale, however, said 2012 was a good year in terms of generating funds through sales of replica jerseys. He said although sales stagnated at the beginning of the year, they later picked following price reduction and improved distribution.