Teams contemplating to participate in this year’s Presidential Cup should expect to dig deeper into their pockets following FAM’s decision to increase registration fees.
The move is aimed at raising money for administration costs since government has not increased the sponsorship package which is still at K60 million for football since the inception of the Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) in 2008.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial manager Casper Jangale, who is also competitions manager, said the cost of organising matches has gone up since the devaluation of the kwacha.
“There are a lot of expenses incurred in the administration of the competition which the sponsorship alone can no longer cater for. For example, referees fees have gone up and we can cover that up by increasing registration fees.
“Once the competition has been launched this weekend, the organising committee will convene and decide on the new registration fees,” said Jangale.
While Jangale kept mum on the new fees, inside sources said they are likely to be double what teams were required to pay last year.
In 2012, district teams were required to pay K1 000 ($3), youth and women teams paid K2 000 (about $5) whereas regional and Super League teams coughed K5 000 ($12) and K10 000 ($25) respectively.
The expected increase in participating teams means there will be more games played, resulting in more expenditure.
Last year, 2 007 teams participated in the competition whereas 1 570 took part in the competition in 2011.
Bullets FC general secretary Higger Mkandawire argued against the proposal, saying, should this happen, teams will be punished for sponsors’ sins.
“The failure to increase funding is government’s [fault] and not teams’; so, we should not be given the burden to carter for the expenses as our operation costs have also gone up drastically,” said Mkandawire.
Minister of Sports Enoch Chihana on Tuesday said government will only consider increasing the sponsorship during the next financial year.
“We have the concerns. The problem is that money was already allocated by Parliament; so, it will be difficult to go and lobby for more funding.
“But we will make sure that we lobby for an increase in the next financial year to start in July,” he said.
Director of Sports in the Ministry Jameson Ndalama told The Nation of February 2 2012 that sponsorship would not be increased “because FAM and Netball Association of Malawi did not justify in writing their demands for a revision of the sponsorship.”
Super League teams last year claimed that while the cup was prestigious, its financial rewards were minimal due to high participation costs.
According to last season’s budget, out of K60 million (about $154 000) FAM gets to run the competition, K43 million (about $110 256) goes to prizes for all the levels and the rest for administration.
PIS, which was launched by former president Bingu Mutharika, is pegged at K120 million (about $307 692) with football getting half the chunk.