Blantyre-based TNM Super league outfit Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman says the club will close shop because he can no longer sponsor the club.
In an interview yesterday, Osman said due to some circumstances that have affected his business, it will be tough for him bankroll the Bangwe-Township based side.
He said: “There are a lot of things that have happened in the recent past that have affected my source of income and under such circumstances, I am afraid I cannot continue.
“I do not see this team taking part in the league next season.”
Osman, who is DPP councillor for Bangwe Mthandizi, said he has already informed his team’s players about his decision.
“Apart from the Ntopwa FC, I was also sponsoring five other teams—Ntopwa Super Queens women’s football team and six other junior teams of different age ranges.
“But with this development, I will stop sponsoring the teams forthwith.
“I had a meeting with the players for the two senior teams [men and women] and they were saddened. They tried to plead with me, but I have told them that there’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.
Osman said he used to invest a fortune in sponsoring football.
“My decision will affect 150 players who were benefiting from my sponsorship,” he said.
Ntopwa FC captain Happy Kasamba confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.
“He [Osman] called for a meeting with some senior players where he informed us about the decision.
“Honestly, we are shocked and confused because we are not sure about our future. We tried to plead with him to no avail. We don’t know what to do,” he said.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Tiya Somba-Banda expressed ignorance on the issue.
“It’s news to me. Ntopwa has not communicated anything on their plans to disband,” he said.
Ntopwa were promoted to the top-flight league at the start of the 2019 season after finishing second in the second-tier Southern Region Football League Premier Division.
They took the slot of the then champions Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve who decided not to earn promotion into the Super League.
To their credit, the Amagheto Kids, as they are popularly known, survived relegation in only their maiden season.