The gods of football have finally smiled at Blantyre United in their quest to survive TNM Super League relegation after Capital Oil Refining Industries (Cori) pledged to meet its operational expenses for the rest of the season.
Last week, United were on the verge of withdrawing from the flagship league due to budgetary constraints.
Cori, through its Kukoma cooking oil brand, has also promised to take over the team in the event that it survives the relegation.
Both Blantyre United and Cori officials kept a tight lid on details of the partnership after the deal was sealed on Thursday.
But one of Cori’s directors, Ameen Karim, was spotted at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre United on Saturday when Blantyre beat Red Lions 2-1 to revive their hopes of escaping relegation.
Karim left the venue few minutes before the final whistle and did not grant media interviews.
However, Cori’s sponsorship coordinator, Violet Kapolo, and United’s general secretary, Malekano Chisoma, said the deal.
Kapolo said the idea is to inspire United, saying: “We will be giving them upkeep allowances and game bonuses so that the team should survive the relegation battle. The future of the partnership will be determined if the side stays in the league at the end of the season.”
Kapolo said Cori values sporting activities; hence, their support towards netball giants Kukoma Diamonds and other sporting activities, including tennis and golf.
Recently, Kukoma injected K1.3 million towards Central High Sports Carnival.
On his part, Chisoma said Cori’s support has injected a new lease of life in the teams’ survival battle.
“You saw it that the boys were on song today. We started and finished strongly. We strongly believe that with this support, we will survive the relegation battle,” he said.
Despite winning, United remain 15th in the 16-team league with 20 points from 24 games whereas Lions are on position 13 with 24 points from 24 games. n