Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) Premier League main sponsors Simama and Sons (Simso) Group of Companies has turned down a request for sponsorship increase citing a poor economic environment.
The league is sponsored to the tune of K7 million with Simso pumping in K5 million from Simso and the remainder contributed by Superior & Flora Cooking Oil.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, NRFA acting chairperson Mbonekera Msiska said the sponsor will maintain the current package in the 2019 season.
NRFA is pegging the league budget at K15 million.
“We met the sponsor, Bishop Abraham Simama, in Lilongwe where we pleaded with him to consider increasing the sponsorship in the wake of rising costs in the management of the league, but he made it clear that it will not be possible due to economic problems.
“Under such circumstances, we have to accept the situation and look for other alternatives to complement the current sponsorship,” he said.
The bishop’s son, Pezani Simama, who is also the sponsorship coordinator, said the business environment is not favourable for the company to increase the package.
“It is true that they asked for increment and it was genuine. However, we are not increasing the package as of now because the business environment has not been good,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) vice-president Orthaniel Hara has since appealed to well-wishers to assist the league.
“Let me first of all thank the sponsor, Simso Group of Companies for the support. However, we are aware that the league is big and the sponsorship package should be more than K7 million,” he said.
NRFA treasurer Chauka Mwasinga said it will be hard to operate the league with a shortfall of K8 million.
“While our desire is to make sure that the prize package be increased, we also have to consider other operations, including such as referees’ allowances. We, therefore, need other well-wishers to complement the budget,” he said.
In the just-ended season, Chitipa United were crowned the league’s champions.