Malawi government has demanded FAMâ€™s justification that fans should pay to watch the August 26 2012 K60 million (about $240 000) Presidential Cup final between Big Bullets and Moyale Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports director of sports Jameson Ndalama told Galaxy FM sports programme of Saturday morning that government, as sponsors, expected the final to be free of charge.
â€œIn summary, let me say we are surprised to learn that there are gate charges for the final. We have asked the Sports Council and they, too, seem surprised as to why FAM has arrived at the decision. We will seek FAMâ€™s justification then see the way forward,â€ Ndalama told Galaxy FM.
The cupâ€™s administrators, FAM, through its chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda, on Wednesday announced hiked gate entry fees for the final.
In the potential crowd-puller, open terraces will cost K500 ($2), K2 000 ($8) for MBC Stand, a seat at the covered stands is pegged at K3 000 (about $12) and the VIP at K5 000 ($20). These are special rates for the final.
In an interview on Saturday, Nyirenda said government was yet to raise the entry fees issue with FAM.
â€œFAM will wait for governmentâ€™s communication on this issue. This is a cup final and teams incur a lot of expenses to prepare for a match of such a profile. We have the gate charges to give the teams some revenue. The clubs survive on gate collections,â€ said Nyirenda.
Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire, shared FAMâ€™s position on the need for the gate earnings.
â€œIf this is what the sponsors want, then there is nothing we can do. We do not want to appear to antagonising them. But as clubs, we are struggling financially. We need to raise something from such games to meet training and camping expenses, among others,â€ said Mkandawire.
Some football analysts have observed that making the final free of charges would be a recipe for crowd trouble as the security personnel will have a tough time to control the crowd. Bullets matches attract huge crowds.