Super League clubs can now heave a sigh of relief after the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) deferred the Presidential Football Cup reforms—which could have led to the top-flight league teams barred from the tournament.
Confirming the development yesterday, the council’s executive secretary George Jana said they have maintained the usual format because they do not have time to enforce the changes.
The MNSC said it was reviewing the tournament after observing that it was not meeting its objectives, which included unearthing talent and energising the culture of sports across the country.
Among the proposals, according to the council, is that Super League teams should not be allowed to participate in the competition so that much of the resources from the K60 million ($81 191) sponsorship should benefit grassroots football.
“The competition will be organised under the usual format. The reforms, if approved by the Ministry of Sports, will be enforced next season,” Jana said.
The Presidential Cup prevailing arrangement is that it starts at district level before reaching regional stage and later national phase where Super League teams join.
However, MNSC said the funding, which has remained at K60 million since the tournament was launched in 2009, was not enough to successfully organise the competition.
On this, Jana said they were also pushing for a funding increment so that it matches the current economic situation.
“We have also proposed for the financial adjustments so that we are in tandem with the economic situation which has taken a knock over the years,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jana has said the competition, which traditionally begins in January, will kick off in June.
“There were some technical challenges we faced, but I am sure we will start off in June,” he said.
The assurance that Super League teams will be maintained in the Presidential Cup comes after last week Standard Bank withdrew sponsorship for its knockout cup.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said the Presidential Cup funding assurances was good news for club football.
“We have received assurances that the competition has full funding. This is good because it will somehow fill the gap created by Standard Bank withdrawal,” he said.
Nyamilandu was also optimistic that they will get a new sponsor for the knockout cup.
“I am sure that companies will come forward to sponsor the competition because it is a big brand which was loved by football supporters,” he said.