Government through the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development has intervened on the uncertainty surrounding the sponsorship of the Super League from TNM.
Minister responsible Henry Mussa yesterday said officials from his ministry have already stepped in.
“Consultations are already underway within the ministry and we will engage them [TNM] to appreciate their concerns,” he said.
The development follows an announcement by the Super League of Malawi that TNM had suspended contract renewal negotiations.
In a statement released on Saturday, the top-flight league governing body stated that the league might not kickoff on April 8 as earlier planned as a result of TNM’s move to suspend league procurement and contract renewal negotiations following an order by the Competition and Fair Trade Commission (CFTC) order that when renewing the deal, clauses that stop Sulom and clubs from entering agreements with other mobile service providers should be scrapped off.
The current sponsorship agreement is expected to end on April 12.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has said has said they will support Sulom and TNM “in any way possible to redeem the sponsorship.
“We are also seeking the intervention of the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development on the matter.”
TNM senior manager responsible for public relations Akossa Mphepo confirmed meeting Sulom and FAM to our sister paper Nation on Sunday, but refused to comment on the discussions.
But according to a well-placed source, TNM is expected to issue an official statement within the week on its stance.
According to the sponsorship contract, TNM entrusts Sulom with the responsibility to refrain from entering other agreements which would restrict or prevent them from providing the rights granted to TNM.
The contract also gives TNM naming, promotion and advertising rights and restricts Sulom or clubs from getting sponsorship, promotional, advertising or similar rights to other persons, firm, company, corporation or other body involved or concerned in the products related or similar to TNM products.
Be Forward Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao and Nyasa Big Bullets chairperson Noel Lipipa said the suspension of the kickoff has put clubs in a tight spot.
Said Lipipa: “As it is, we are not sure on when the league will start and obviously it should be a cause for worry.”
On his part, Butao said: “TNM are paying for exclusivity through the sponsorship, the same way Beta TV got exclusivity of TV rights by paying [while failing to pay] more than other bidders. So, why condemn only TNM’s exclusivity?”
TNM sponsors the Super League to the tune of K90 million per season. n