The Flames have pleaded with the corporate world to embrace FDH Bank plc’s initiative that will see the bank’s employees wearing the national football team replica jerseys to work every Friday to spice up celebrations for African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification.
The team’s vice-captain John ‘CJ’ Banda and coach Meck Mwase yesterday said the initiative is one of the best ways to motivate the players and garner more support for the team ahead of the Afcon finals in Cameroon next January.
As Flames official sponsors, the bank introduced the initiative, dubbed FDH Flames Friday, and has called on all its employees nationwide to put on the Flames jerseys every Friday in the spirit of celebrating the national football team’s first Afcon qualification in a decade but third overall.
Said Banda: “This is a great initiative that will not only motivate us the players, but also garner more support for the team ahead of the Afcon finals. But this will make a great impact if more companies emulate this.”
Mwase said the country needs to turn up the morale volume because that will strengthen the players’ minds and constantly remind them of their responsibility to make the country proud on the continental stage.
“Just imagine you wake up every Friday morning and everyone you see going to work is wearing a Flames jersey. That can be a wonderful thing and the team will know how much they are loved and remind them of their responsibility,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said they are impressed by the high level of patriotism that FDH Bank has shown through the unique initiative.
He said: “This is a highly commendable initiative and a noble cause for that matter. FDH has shown to be a true corporate citizen by supporting the Flames through thick and thin. Such a policy decision underscores that they are a serious partner of the Flames.
“The bank has sent a strong message that we should be proud of our country by taking an active role in supporting local initiatives that include sports and football, in particular. .”
FDH Bank head of marketing Levie Nkunika said they introduced the initiative to celebrate the Flames’ achievement and enjoy the fruits of their investment as sponsors, who came in at a time when the national football team was not given a chance.
He said the initiative started on March 29 when their employees nationwide wore Flames jerseys in support of the team led by FDH Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer William Mpinganjira.
“Qualifying for Afcon is no mean achievement and this is worth celebrating in an extraordinary way,” he said.
The Flames enjoy a K180 million three-year sponsorship from the home-grown FDH Bank plc.