The Malawi football scene in the country is getting better following the recommitment by Standard Bank to continue investing in the sport through the K15 million ($60 000) Standard Bank Top 8 Knockout Trophy.
The bankâ€™s head of marketing, Linda Kachingwe-Sisya, announced the good news Wednesday at a press briefing at its headquarters in Lilongwe. Among others, the ceremony was attended by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Water Nyamilandu and Sulom president Innocent Bottomani.
“As a corporate citizen, we thought it right to continue sponsoring football, which is the main arm of sports in the country. Not only are we maintaining sponsorship, but we are also increasing the amount we plan to invest this year,” said Kachingwe-Sisya. She said they were impressed with the way FAM managed the competition last year and decided to maintain the partnership.
According to Kachingwe-Sisya, the launch of this yearâ€™s edition of the tournament will be on June 30 in Lilongwe and the bank will also announce details of the new package at that function.
“Our target is to establish as to who is the best of the best in the land. Through the Top Eight [Trophy], Standard Bank [promise you] to bring out the best,” she said.
FAM president Water Nyamilandu described Standard Bank as strategic partners crucial for the development of football in the country.
“We have already seen the fruits of Standard Bank in John Banda. The player was a revelation during last yearâ€™s tournament. Last week, he saved the national team,” said Nyamilandu.
He thanked the bank for maintaining football sponsorship in Malawi.
Sulom thanked FAM for maintaining good relations with sponsors and for finding sponsorship for Super League teams.
“What we have observed is that FAM has managed to sustain sponsorship at the same time acquire new sponsors. This is encouraging and shows that FAM is indeed working to uplift football in the country. We are also thankful to Standard Bank for giving Super League teams sponsorship. It is not easy if you consider the economic situation,” said Bottomani who was in the company of executive member Charles Manyungwa.