University withdraws Mzuni FC funding

This is it. Mzuzu University (Mzuni) says it will no longer fund Mzuni Football Club’s participation in competitive football with immediate effect, a development which puts the team’s future into jeopardy.

In a memo from the office of the university registrar dated March 8 2019, addressed to Mzuzu University Student Representative Council (Musrec), all students and the club’s general secretary, which The Nation has seen, it states that the resolution has been made after receiving a report from the financial committee regarding its difficult financial situation.

Mzuni FC players’ future hangs in limbo

“For your information, the university is in arrears leading to a huge deficit which has led to cutting of expenditure in a number of activities, including Mzuni FC.

“Please note that the university will only provide financial support to Mzuni FC as part of extracurricular activities for students,” reads part of the memo, which has also been copied to the chairperson of the council, deputy vice-chancellor, dean of students and all staff.

The memo further states that the development is a follow up to another resolution made during a meeting held on November 9 2018 to stop funding the team’s non-student players “and that Mzuni FC should cease operating on commercial basis with immediate effect”.

Mzuni FC general secretary Donnex Chilongo yesterday said they have given up on the matter.

“At first, it was to do with non-student players only, but what the latest development means is that the team should not play at competitive level and if anything, it will only be involved in inter-college activities.

“We have tried on our part to no avail. So, our position is that we have accepted, but we have left it [the matter] to the students for their perusal since they are the ‘owners’ of the team,” he said.

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda said they are yet to get official communication on the matter.

“But the development will cripple football development in the North. We shall follow up as the events unfold,” he said.

On his part, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) licensing and compliance manager Casper Jangale said they will contact Mzuni officials to get their official stand.

“We will push them to give us a clear picture by Saturday,” he said.

Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said as the situation stands, it is clear that Mzuni has disbanded.

“Sulom or FAM need to be pro-active and find a replacement for Mzuni because what is coming out clearly is that the college’s management is not interested in having a competitive football team, it is not their priority.

“They [Sulom] should either maintain the team which finished third from the bottom last season [Red Lions] or conduct play-offs of some sort, otherwise they will be caught off guard,” he said.

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