FAM bars Escom FC, journos, Miss Malawi from Carlsberg Cup reception

Escom United players and journalists from the country’s major media houses had a shock of their lives on Saturday evening, when overzealous Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda and his media officer Casper Jangale barred them from entering the reception hall at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

Close to 10 journalists, who included Nation Publications Limited’s Singayazi Kaminjolo, Blantyre Newspaper’s Precious Msosa, Mike Bango of Zodiac Broadcasting Station and Leonard Sharra had rushed to their media houses to file reports of the final clash involving Blue Eagles and Escom United but when they came back to cover the reception, Fam officials barred them from entering, saying the Minister (Anita Kalinde) was already in.

The entire Escom United team, which also came when the Minister was already in and other invited delegates were also barred from entering the reception on the same grounds.

Also prevented from entering the hall was the reigning Miss Malawi Susan Mtegha, who received the Carlsberg trophy from paratroopers and presented it to Fam and sponsors at the stadium.

Kalinde speaking at the prize presentation

Some people tried to reason with the Fam officials to open the door just for the journalists, players and Miss Malawi but the officials were adamant.

Apparently, some young men lost their cool and started banging the door as speeches were being made. The young men also hauled insults at the two Fam officials, describing them as ‘thieves.’

“These people do not even deserve to be in the positions they are. They are in those positions by default and all they know is to steal money. What they don’t know is that akudya ndalama zamagazi (they are eating blood money),” remarked one of the boys.

After waiting in vain, Escom players and Miss Malawi left the hotel. The journalists were only let in after the Gender Minister, who represented Sports Minister Enock Chihana had left the hall.

They missed all the speeches and had to solicit information from colleagues.

However, Nyasa Times reporter Elijah Phimbi who was in the reception reports that FAM President Walter Nyamilandu expressed delightment with the success the cup has brought in its first year of return.

“We as the governing body in the country, we are delighted with the success this competition has generated” he said.

He pointed out the unveiling of talented Blue Eagles midfielder Mecium Mhone as one of the major achievement.

Nyamilandu said the competition was so competative as a number of junior teams managed to reach top levels.

“This is a sign that we are developing a tremendous competition in all the regions. The young men have shown us we (they) can do it” he said.

Taking her turn, Kalinde who represented Sports Minister Enock Chihana as guest of honor applauded Carlsberg for the sponsorship and pledged government support to the company in all its endeavors.

She also called upon other countries to emulate what Carlsberg is doing.

“It is high time that companies emulate what Carlsberg is doing,” she said.

Meanwhile, Carlsberg Malawi has assured all Malawians that the competition will be back next year but the officials could not say whether the prize money will be increased or not.

FAM president Nyamilandu presenting his speech at the prize presentation ceremony.-Photo by Elijah Phimbi

Jacob Ngwira (far right), coach player Kondwani Gawani and other Escom players loaf outside the hall

Escom players take leave of the hotel after giving up

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