World football governing body Fifa has struck an agreement with IMG agency to market television rights for African qualifiers for the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
The deal will see IMG, originally known as the International Management Group headquartered in New York City, awarded 130 matches featuring 40 countries from across the continent, including Malawi’s Flames group matches.
The current qualifying structure in Africa sees 40 nations drawn in 10 groups of four.
Malawi is in Group D alongside Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Cameroon.
The top team from each group will then play a two-leg playoff match in March 2022, with the winners qualifying for the World Cup.
IMG senior vice-president Michael Mellor said in a statement that the deal gives African players an opportunity to market themselves since the matches will be shown worldwide.
“This is an extremely exciting package of matches with the growing success of African nations and at major tournaments making the World Cup qualifiers a very attractive proposition for broadcasters around the globe,” he said.
Football marketing consultant Felix Ngamanya Sapao said the deal offers African football associations a chance to get the most out of the World Cup matches’ television rights.
He said: ““I think this is the first time that IMG has ventured onto Africa football. This is big news for African football. IMG have got an excellent distribution network, quality production and good revenue for African federations.”
But Football Association of Malawi competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said they are yet to get the full details of the deal.
He said: “Right now we can’t tell how much each participating country stands to benefit from the deal, until all the matches have been played and Fifa gives us a report.”