Government and the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) on Saturday took turns to express their gratitude to FMB for its continued role in developing football at grass roots level during the launch of the Under-20 National League at Kasungu Community Centre ground.
A representative from the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Violet Chinkono, said government appreciates the bank’s contribution.
“I wish to thank the FMB bank for the unwavering support towards football development in this country. This is a commendable gesture,” said Chinkono who is a Malawi National Council of Sports board member.
She said as a matter of appreciation to FMB, government this year approved the proposal by FAM to take away elite teams’ participation in the Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) and channel the funds towards the establishment of the Under-17 League in all the 12 districts where FMB Under-20 League is played.
“This will ensure that all players coming from the junior ranks are not lost in between and that FAM is fed with the best players; thus making it more competitive and attractive,” she said.
FAM vice-president James Mwenda said FMB investment is reaping the reward.
“Most of the players in the Super League and national teams are products of FMB. Players such as Isaac Kaliati, Stanley Sanudi, Brighton Munthali and many others were identified through the FMB League and we are grateful,” he said.
FMB managing executive and head of international organisations Patrick Kabambe said football sponsorship is one of the bank’s core priorities in it’s corporate social responsibility programmes.
“FMB is proud to be associated with sports development in the country and we believe that the best way of doing that is by sponsoring the most popular sport in the country. We have been impressed with the way the league has been run so far and that is why the board thought it wise to increase the sponsorship from K20 million to K24 million.
“We believe in ploughing back the profits we make to the people that have enabled us to do business,” said Kabambe.
Prior to the launch there was a parade of the trophy at Kasungu Boma by FMB models. The launch included a match between Lilongwe Under-20 select and their Kasungu counterparts. Lilongwe won the game 2-1. n