Raiply Malawi Limited has pulled out sponsorship for Mzuzu Mayor’s Trophy prompting the organisers to cut the budget from K1.7 million to K750 000.
Raiply Malawi Limited chief executive officer Thomas Oommen confirmed his company’s withdrawal.
Mzuzu City Mayor William Mkandawire on Tuesday said Raiply has communicated that they will not sponsor the tournament this year because they are facing economic challenges.
“It is sad that this year Mzuzu Mayor’s Trophy will go without a good package. Our wish has been to have more sports disciplines and teams participating in this initiative, but shortage of funds is pulling us down,” he said.
Following the development Mzuzu City Council will use K700 000 from its coffers for the football and netball tournaments.
Regional Sports Officer (North) Georgina Msowoya has described the development as sad.
“This is a very sad development and it is coming at a time when we are already experiencing sponsorship scarcity,” she said.
Forty primary school are participating in the football tournament according to Mzuzu City sports committee chairperson Ollens Msonda. The football tournament is expected to wind up early next month.
“Despite that the sponsorship package is small, 40 primary schools registered for the football competition. We are now heading for quarter-finals. We expect to finish the tournament by the end of May,” he said.
Last year, the tournament involved only secondary schools in Mzuzu City despite the mayor’s earlier declaration that the sports initiative will involve many sports disciplines.
Katoto Secondary School are the defending champions. n