The Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) has expressed disappointment at Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) delay to pursue sponsorship cases involving sportswear manufacturer Nsejjere and Countrywide Car Hire.
United States-based Nsejjere refused to pay K10 million to the Southern Region Football League (SRFL) for the 2015 season, arguing that it did not sign a contract with the league to formalise its commitment.
But SRFA chairperson Raphael Humba argues that despite the lack of contract, there was commitment, through emails, from Nsejjere that they were the league’s financiers.
Countrywide Car Hire has also failed to pay SRFA K8 million for a tournament it agreed to sponsor last year. According to Humba, the competition was stopped at district level because of the financial constraints.
In an interview yesterday, Humba said he was surprised that FAM has not yet sued the two companies almost eight months after promising to take legal action.
“We gave FAM all the documentation but we are surprised that up to now the two institutions have not been taken to court,” he said.
Humba complained that teams that reached the finals of the botched Countrywide Car Hire trophy have been demanding their prize money.
“We owe the teams that reached the final stages from the 13 district their prize money totalling K1.3 million and we do not have answers when they ask us,” he said.
The SRFA chairperson also said they borrowed K9 million to pay the winning teams and referees after Nsejjere’s refusal to pay the prize money.
“We borrowed K4.5 million from FAM to pay the successful teams and we borrowed some K4.5 from somewhere to pay the referees. All these funds will have to be refunded. Our only hope of paying off the debts is if we win the case and we are compensated,” he said.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda, in his reaction, said it was understandable that SRFA is irked with the delay but explained that they have been consulting lawyers.
“The lawyers are working on the matter and they have been doing their research on how to handle [the issue]. The assurance we can give the SRFA is that we haven’t abandoned the issue,” he said.
Nyirenda promised that the two companies will be taken to court before this year ends.