Unity of purpose

Going by the wise saying ‘United we stand, divided we fall,’ Northern Region TNM Super League teams have organised a bonanza to raise at least K10 million as their starterpack in the 2019 season.

The competition’s organising committee secretary Donnex Chilongo said yesterday that Moyale Barracks Football Club (FC) and Mzuzu University (Mzuni) FC, alongside unsponsored Karonga United and Chitipa FC will take advantage of the two-day event to raise money for their first away games in the top-flight league to cater for transportation, accommodation and food.

Karonga United survive the drop

Super League teams require a strong financial muscle to fulfill their fixtures.

According to Karonga United chairperson Alufeyo Chipanga Banda, they spent at least K1.2 million to fulfill their last away 2018 league match in Blantyre.

The bonanza, which will see all participating teams sharing the proceeds equally, will also help Karonga and Mzuni, who finished seventh and eighth in the elite league, to tune up for their first-ever participation in the Airtel Top 8 competition.

In the just-ended season, no Northern Region team got relegated from the Super League as their number increased from three to four following the promotion of Chitipa FC.

“We realised that finances are a common problem for our teams and have agreed that the bonanza is one of the best remedies.

“We also decided to come together as Northern Region teams after noting that we are sidelined in most pre-season competitions that fellow Super League outfits organise,” he said.

However, Chilongo said dates and venue for the bonanza will be announced once the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) sanctions the event.

He said Karonga Stadium is likely to host the tournament because it attracts a good patronage compared to other Northern Region venues.

Chilongo, who is also Mzuni FC general secretary, said more details about the event will be made public after their meeting today.

Meanwhile, FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka yesterday acknowledged receipt of the request letter from the organisers to sanction the event, but he did not go into details as he was out of office.  

“When I was getting out of office, I saw e-mail messages from the organisers notifying FAM about their event but, unfortunately, I did not open them to get into minute details. But as FAM, we commend them for following the procedure by notifying us.

“We will give them guidance on how they can go about organising the bonanza,” he said.

FAM has since advised all teams and everybody under association football, including the coaches and referees, to only take part in competitions that are licensed by FAM.

Soccer analyst George Kaudza Masina yesterday welcomed Northern Region teams’ fundraising approach, saying it is the best way to go for Super League teams to sustain themselves in financially-demanding elite football.

“Other clubs, especially those that are not financially stable should borrow a leaf from what the Northern Region outfits have done. They should not just sit idle and expect sponsors to come to their rescue. Mind you, prospective sponsors come when you make a first step to help yourself,” he said. n

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