Carlsberg Malawi Limited has challenged Malawi national team to win the Cosafa Cup next month or risk limiting chances of securing a fresh sponsorship deal from the brewer.
Carlsberg and Football Association of Malawians (FAM) in 2014 agreed a K250 million three year sponsorship package towards the national team.
The deal is expiring this year and Carlsberg senior brands manager for alcoholic beverages Twikale Chirwa said the company will analyse the sponsorship impact at the end of this year.
While acknowledging that the sponsorship has achieved some of the targets, he said Flames performance has been a big let-down.
“Branding of Flames jerseys with our logo has been achieved and we are able to receive free Flames match tickets for our marketing purposes as per our contractual agreement,” he said.
Flames are on the verge of missing qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals as they are still winless with only two points out of a possible 12.
Zimbabwe lead with eight points while Guinea and Swaziland both have five points but the former has a better goal difference and sit on second position. A home loss to Guinea in March crashed the already fading hopes.
With two games to go, Chirwa cast a doubt over Malawi’s chances of turning the tables to reach the Gabon finals.
“I must admit that it is difficult to make it. This is a major concern to fans and we, as sponsors, share those concerns too,” he said.
At this point, Chirwa said Malawi need to make up for the pending failure to reach the Afcon finals by lifting the Cosafa Cup.
“When we will be assessing the sponsorship, we will also look at the performance of the team. I don’t think there is any company that can be sponsoring a team that doesn’t perform well. If they win the trophy chances of securing fresh sponsorship will go up,” he said.
Meanwhile, FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda has said that much as the Flames have been poor, they have fulfilled much of the contractual obligations.
“We haven’t performed well on the pitch but then in other areas we have done really well. We have marketed Carlsberg brand by putting their logo on the jerseys including the replicas,” he said.
Nyirenda sounded optimistic that Carlsberg will renew the sponsorship deal based on the marketing aspect.
On Cosafa Cup, Nyirenda said they always compete to win and the objective has not changed. n