Top women football clubs DD Sunshine, Blantyre Zero, Skippers FC and Ntopwa United have threatened to boycott the 2017 Presidential Women Football Cup unless prizes are improved.
They argue that the K2 million winners’ purse and the K750 000 runners-up prize at national level are nothing compared to what they invest to prepare and participate in the competition.
Owners of the respective clubs David Dube, Sadiki Malinga, Charles Mwenda and Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman have since planned to have a meeting this weekend to discuss the matter and take their concerns to relevant authorities as a unit.
“We have suffered for too long,” said Dube, owner of defending champions DD Sunshine.
His Skippers’ counterpart Mwenda said they recently tried in vain to reason with the National Women Football Association (NWFA) on the need to up the stakes to satisfactory standards.
“There is too much burden on us. However, we do not give up because of the passion we have for the sport,” Mwenda said.
“Bad pitches are also a problem. During last year’s contest, we spent almost K500 000 to treat our goalkeeper, who fractured her leg after stepping into a hole. Now, compare that with the prizes.”
On their part, Blantyre Zero’s overseer Malinga and Ntopwa United owner Osman said they are finding it tough to run their clubs due to the discrimination women football face in the country.
But NWFA chairperson Severia Chalira said sponsorship for Presidential Football Cup has not changed since the inaugural contest in 2009.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the objective of the competition is to attract sponsorship from the corporate world by keeping women footballers active.
“The little we have should keep us going as we try to become attractive to corporate sponsors,” he said.