Ahead of the country’s flagship Super League 2014-15 soccer season, which kicks off on April 19, financially strapped Big Bullets FC and Mighty Wanderers FC on Wednesday received a boost following a K2 million donation from Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) Malawi.
The donation was made in Blantyre by ADRA Malawi’s country director and renowned comedian, Michael Usi, after the two sides, which are currently running without sponsorship, approached him for support.
“I looked at the proposal and after I considered their financial stand I approached ADRA and other donors to come in and support,” said Usi.
“ADRA responded first and I’m hoping we will get more support from other corporate partners,” he told journalists in the commercial city where he presented K1 million worth of cheques to each club.
Usi said it was “a shame” to see the country’s soccer giants struggling financially when the two teams enjoyed a huge following throughout the country.
He disclosed that ADRA Malawi however decided to help because Bullets and Wanderers are not just soccer teams but agents of peace, which is in line with ADRA’s mission.
“Bullets and the Nomads have big potential of being change agents in terms of bringing peace or coexistence and development among Malawians, therefore we want to reach out to the public.
“They are top teams with a large following, hence they can help us preach peace,” he added. “As they are rivals, the rivalry should only be in the stadium, but after the game let them co-exist and advance the agenda for peace.”
The People’s Team and the Nomads were represented by their top officials, led by the teams’ newly-elected chairpersons, Kondi Msungama and George Chamangwana, respectively.
Speaking in separate interviews with Nyasa Times after receiving the funding, both officials said the donation was timely as the teams were preparing for the new season.
“There are a lot of challenges Bullets is facing as a team and we need money for players allowances, game bonuses as we kick-off the league, so this donation will go a long way to assisting us in many areas.
“On behalf of the Bullets and Wanderers families, I’m thankful to Mr Usi and ADRA for the support. This kind of gesture should also go towards others who are less privileged like us,” said Msungama, while asking other companies to follow suit for the smooth running of the game.
His Nomads counterpart, Chamangwana, disclosed that the team had nothing in its account, saying “the funding would be used as starter pack as we start the season”.
While revealing that he was still lobbying other organisations and well-wishers to support the two teams, Usi however called on Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers to explore other money-making opportunities instead of banking on corporate sponsorship only.
Speaking on hooliganism at soccer matches, which has led to many teams in the country losing corporate sponsorship, Usi said: “We want them to be agents of peace not hooliganism and if they don’t live up to our expectations, I cannot go ahead sourcing support for them or any other team”.
Responding to the call against hooliganism, Chamangwana admitted his team Wanderers has been involved in a lot of violence during soccer matches, but said the new committee at Lali Rubani Road was looking at ways to address such acts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :