FAM halts K40m soccer bonanza

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has told organisers of the proposed Player Anone Bonanza, expected to involve 2018 TNM Super League’s 16 teams in April, to stop preparations until proper procedures are followed.

 FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola confirmed the development yesterday after organisers of the bonanza advertised on social media, that the winning team would go away with 20 Daihatsu Mira vehicles; 16 for players and four for officials immediately after the final match.

Wanderers won Luso Bus Ipite Bonanza

The cost of a Daihatsu Mira is about K2 million and this means the total prize is around K40 million.

He explained that after a bitter lesson with the Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza in 2017, FAM cannot risk giving a greenlight to a bonanza that has no concrete evidence of availability of prizes, consultation with the clubs and a clear criterion used to identify participants.

 “We called the organisers immediately after we noticed the advert and we were surprised to learn that the bonanza is still at an idea stage and they are looking for sponsors.

“We were shocked to learn that they flighted the adverts showing prizes for the event yet such items are not readily available. They are banking on prospective sponsors to come to their rescue and they have not yet consulted the competing teams,” he said.

 Matola added that FAM’s interest is to safeguard the teams because if they are not strict with standard procedures, bonanza organisers would run away before fulfilling their obligations and “much as we celebrate anyone that comes to invest in football, we cannot tolerate such misconduct.

 He said, normally, bonanza organisers have to first gather the resources and write a proposal, which FAM competitions sub-committee scrutinises, indicating suggested dates, possible venues and a clear criterion on how participating teams were identified.

In response, one of the organisers of the bonanza Emmanuel Phiri yesterday claimed the advert was leaked to the social media before they finalised preparations.

“We are indeed in the process of organising the bonanza but one of our partners leaked the advert before we could finalise the process. We are currently talking with prospective sponsors and we will try our best to follow the procedures before coming out clear on the event,” he said.

 According to Phiri, the bonanza aims to give Super League players a chance to own vehicles, which are a necessity in modern football.

 In January 2017, Be Forward Wanderers won the Bus Ipite Bonanza following a 5-1 triumph over rivals Nyasa Big Bullets in a two-legged final. However, they struggled to secure documents for the bus they won from the Luso Television-sponsored contest.

They needed the papers to register the motor vehicle with the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services but it took almost a year to  get the documents as it was reported that Luso was failing to secure the documents as they owed clearing agents Allied Freight about K7million.

 Meanwhile, Wanderers’ chairperson Gift Mkandawire has welcomed FAM’s decision, saying the club has experienced enough torture by bonanza organisers, who use clubs for their interest.

 “For your information, we are still facing some difficulties the aftermath of the Bus Ipite Bonanza and we are very cautious on our commitment to a bonanza that springs up during this period,” he said.

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