President Peter Mutharika, through his aide Ben Phiri has told the National Women Football Committee (NWFC) to set a date for the Mutharika Women Football League finals and has assured them of the remaining K300 000 (US$728) sponsorship package.
This is three months after the NWFC decided to hold back the 2013/14 finals for the Southern Region between Blantyre Zero and Ntopwa Super Queens due to the uncertainty over receipt of the contests’ outstanding sponsorship balance.
NWFC president Severia Chalira and Southern Region Women Football League chairperson Catherine Chikandula confirmed yesterday that Phiri, who is also the competition’s sponsorship coordinator, communicated with Chikandula last week assuring them that all is well with the competition.
However, Phiri could not be reached for comment yesterday as he is reportedly with Mutharika on his trip to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Summit in the United States (US).
“Phiri said we should organise ourselves and set the date for our conclusive finals. He even added that we should communicate back to him in good time so that the President or his representative should grace the final match,” said Chikandula.
Chalira said they will meet to discuss the possible date and venue, while maintaining that they would conduct a fundraising exercise if things do not work out as assured considering their recent experience of hitting blanks on their pursuit for the funds.
“We are hopeful the competition will end well because we are getting so much pressure from the teams, who think we received the money but we squandered it,” said Chalira.
NWFC planned to conclude Mutharika’s three-year women football sponsorship on July 19, but this did not come to pass due to the same sponsorship problems.
Regional champions get K300 000 prize per season while runners-up, third-placed and fourth positioned outfits receive K150 000 (US$364), K100 000 (US$243) and K50 000 (US$121) respectively. Top scorer in each region is assured of K20 000 (US$49) prize.
The Central and Northern Region leagues already conducted their finals for the 2013/1014 season, but they are just waiting for the prize presentation ceremony. Skippers FC Senior and Skippers FC Youth are the winners and runners-up in the Centre, respectively, just like Moyale Sisters and Kwaito Sisters in the North.
Mutharika unveiled a K19.8 million three-year sponsorship package for the country’s three regional women soccer leagues in 2011.
Despite Mutharika confirming, through Phiri, that he would not extend sponsorship contract for men’s Southern Region Football League, Chalira is hopeful that the President will let women football sponsorship thrive.