Premier Gin Malawi has withdrawn sponsorship for the 2015 Northern Region inter-constituency tournament due to the government’s ban on importation, distribution and manufacturing of plastic bags and bottles.
Government argues that such materials remain a critical global environmental issue as they are difficult to dispose of and are hazardous to health.
Premier Gin managing director Cedric Sapuwa told The Nation on Tuesday that his company set aside K5 million ($11 111) to fund the tournament, but the ban has affected the company’s operations, hence the withdrawal of their sponsorship.
He said the change in the policy by government has affected the company’s cost of production as they are now not allowed to import glass bottles from China.
“We made a commitment to sponsor the [tournament], but with the new government policy, we can no longer do that because we are currently out of business,” said Sapuwa.
Premier Gin has been sponsoring the tournament to the tune of K3 million ($6 667), but they failed to sustain the funding having been let down by the defending champions, Mzuzu City Socials after they refused to surrender the trophy as required.
The conduct by Mzuzu City Socials led to the delay in re-launching the tournament during the 2014 season.
Mzuzu City Socials surrendered the trophy to the company later after being approached by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) vice-president Moses Mkandawire.
According to Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) general secretary Alfred Gunda, they cannot say anything on the issue.
“We will always respect the sponsors’ stand. We are sure that they will come back once things are in order,” said Gunda.