Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has attributed the delay to roll out the second edition of the Fisd Challenge Cup to lack of official confirmation from the sponsors, Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd).
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda and Casper Jangale, who is overseeing competitions in the absence of competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka, yesterday said according to the football calendar, the tournament was supposed to kick-off last week.
Said Gunda: “We have been in touch with them [Fisd] and all we have had are verbal assurances.
“Yesterday, we made another follow up and they told us that their directors were meeting on the matter and that we would get a final position today and we are still waiting.
“Our concern is that any further delays could put us in a tight situation in as far as sticking to the calendar is concerned because already the TNM Super League is behind schedule.”
On why they cannot start the tournament based on the verbal assurance, Jangale said: “It would be difficult to start a tournament based on verbal confirmation because we plan according to the budget.
“So, we need their approval in terms of how much they are pumping in, the format and how many teams will take part. Then there is also the issue of the launch and duration. We cannot start the tournament without telling the teams how much is at stake.”
But while admitting to have delayed in confirming the tournament which was sponsored to the tune of K45 million last year, Fisd marketing and communications manager Wezzie Chiumia assured that the tournament is definitely on.
“We are currently finalising on the logistics and by close of business today [yesterday], we should be through.
“We have had three to four meetings with FAM, but we had a challenge because one of our directors—who is directly involved with the tournament—was outside the country. But we now have his approval,” he said.
Chiumia said they should address a joint press conference with FAM to announce the logistics by the end of the week.
Be Forward Wanderers were the inaugural winners of the tournament after beating Kamuzu Barracks (KB) in post-match penalties last year. n