Sponsors TNM Plc and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) have said they are yet to decide whether the contract, which expires in December, should apply to the period football has been suspended due to Covid-19.
Fifa in April this year issued guidelines on agreements affected by Covid-19 which state that “where an agreement is due to expire at the original end of the season, such expiry be extended until the new end date of the season is announced and that where an agreement is due to commence at the original start date of a new season, such commencement be delayed until the new start date of a new season.”
However, TNM public relations and sponsorship manager Limbani Nsapato said the sponsors’ understanding was that the contract was running and would expire with or without football being played in the 2020 season.
“Our position is that the season has only been delayed, but right now the contract is running,” he said.
Asked what will happen if football remains suspended after the contract has expired, Nsapato said a decision would be made there and then.
He said: “As we stand, it would be difficult to say what will happen if football remains suspended at the time the contract expires. A decision awaits the final position on when football will start. I can only comment on current situation,” he said.
Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda said they will engage the sponsors on the way forward.
“It’s an unprecedented situation and we will continue monitoring together with the sponsor and we will implement accordingly,” he said.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said they advised their affiliates to engage their sponsors so that both parties are clear on what to expect when football resumes.
He said: “For sponsors that deal directly with us, we have been in touch with them on the developments. It’s a chicken and egg situation. The issue is more about engagement and discussing the way forward.”
But Gunda observed that the sponsors’ challenge was that once financial year ends in December, it would be difficult to access the funding for the year ended.
“It’s more to do with issues of technicalities. In some institutions or companies once the financial year ends, the funds from the year ending are forfeited and you have to budget for the new financial year. These are the things that football will have to come to terms with,” he said.