Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said it is exploring ways and means to produce the national team’s sports wear as well as replica jerseys.
FAM commercial director Limbani Matola said yesterday the association’s executive committee meeting held last month, resolved to establish a label, moto, to produce sports wear.
“What we have established is that firms such as Addidas, Puma and Umbro are just agents and they take their designs to manufacturing companies in Asia to produce for them and in turn they supply to us. By dealing directly with manufacturers, replica jerseys will be affordable,” he said.
Matola also said big brands dicatate terms for developing countries such as Malawi.
“We have gone into this situation because it is becoming a regional trend. Most of our neighbours have established their own brands. And having your own brand, there is freedom to produce the kits,” he said.
Sports marketing analyst Kevin Moyo applauded the move, but cautioned that its success would be determined by many factors.
“This is a complex issue. The success of the project will be depend on several factors and the main one is the success of the Flames on the pitch.
“This time FAM is organising everything and the big question should be: Who is the producer or manufacturer regarding transparency and accountability issues. Is it single source or tender?”
On his part, football analyst Higger Mkandawire also questioned the move, saying it will depend on the success of the Flames.
“FAM should make Flames win games then fans will buy any product. This will not have any impact because of the Flames performance.”
The development comes after the expiry of International Sports Apparel Design Institute (Isadi) three-year deal.
The little-known South Africa-baed sports apparel design firm is owned by former Bafana Bafana and Fulham midfielder Kagisho Dikgacio who runs it with Japanese investors.
In the past, the Flames engaged Umbro, Puma and Addidas with little impact on replica jersey sales.