Saturday’s Airtel Top 8 final match between Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe grossed a record K52.5 million.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola said the teams and ground owners got K10.5 million each, FAM’s share was K8.4 million while Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) got K2.1 million.
“We are extremely delighted to have grossed a record. From our perspective we had a cocktail of critical success factors, which included proper planning, aggressive marketing and promotion through the media, strong security and gate management system.
“The advance ticket selling system also worked wonders as it realised K19.1 million,” he said.
He further said professional cash management by FDH Bank and use of e-ticketing solution also helped to control money leakages through fraud and manipulations.
“The bank alone sold over K34 million while about K4.7 million worth of tickets were sold through Airtel Money.
“We also brought in a new security company Droid Security System, which enhanced security both at the gates and VIP sections. We applaud the teams for accepting to adopt advance match day ticket sales system despite some heavy protests and resistance we received from within the clubs themselves.
“We also got it right on pricing as the minimum value for Open/ Covered stands was pegged at K1 500 for advance ticket and K2 000 on match day while the minimum for corporate box seat ticket was K7 500 and over K10 000 on match day,” said Matola.
He further said the introduction of FAM tamper evident security holograms was a success.
“We can now afford to expose the tickets longer on the market without fear of counterfeits. Those who try to forge the tickets are being apprehended.
“However, this success wasn’t without challenges. Nevertheless, it is important at this stage to highlight that the gains far outweighed the shortfalls. So, maybe for now we can humbly pat ourselves on the back as we reflect on how best to better our performance going forward,” he said.
The FAM official paid tribute to all stakeholders for a job well-done, citing the police, stewards, FDH Bank, Droid Security System and the sponsors, Airtel Malawi.
“The event was well organised and highly patronised. Our football fans should be praised for coming in their large numbers. It was a pleasant sight to see a lot of women and children peacefully enjoying the match.
“In fact, there were also many top government officials who included the line Minister Henry Mussa, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, some top business gurus, and not to mention foreign dignitaries such as the Japanese Ambassador. It was simply an amazing experience which lived to its billing of celebrating football excellence,” said Matola.
He added that it was pleasing that there were no serious acts of violence and hooliganism.
Silver Strikers general secretary Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda was equally impressed.
“We are satisfied with the amount considering the number of tickets that were printed and in comparison to revenue realised in previous matches. Kudos to Airtel for the massive and unprecedented promotion of the finals. Kudos to FDH for properly managing the collections.
“FAM also deserve a pat on the back, although we strongly felt that, had they consulted the teams on gate charges, we could have suggested higher amounts considering that for a match played at Mulanje Park—which is not magnificent as BNS—the gate charges for open stands were K2 000,” he said. n