TNM offers relief to Malawi football: Always with you

TNM Limited, sponsors of the K65 million TNM Super League on Frday night put to rest all the doubts that had been lingering on the sponsorship for the national league, announcing they will continue bankrolling the league despite being discontented by the incident that happened during the abandoned game involving Mighty Wanderers and
Silver Strikers in Balaka.

Addressing the audience during prize presentation for the 2013 TNM Super League season at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe last night, TNM’s chief commercial officer Charles Kamoto said as sponsors, they were greatly disturbed with the incident that happened in Balaka where a Wanderers fan Lemiasi Josita was killed during a fracas involving Wanderers and Silver supporters.

“The Balaka incident put us on trial. It was a major issue in our boardrooms and when I listen to the apologies from Fam  (Fooball Association of Malawi) and Sulom presidents, I feel sorry that people have already forgotten that there was a soccer drought in 2007 when TNM came in to sponsor the league.

We were put on trial, TNM's Charles Kamoto.

We were put on trial, TNM’s Charles Kamoto.

“The coming of TNM also led to other sponsors reconsidering their stands and when the Balaka incident happened, we thought of what the other sponsors would do if we pulled out our sponsorship,” said Kamoto.

TNM Chief Commercial officer, however, sounded a warning that people should not make a mistake of taking the gesture from the mobile network giants for granted.

He asked the soccer authorities not to take lenient measurers on perpetrators of violence, pledging TNM was prepared to assist in bringing the malpractice to an end.

Earlier Fam president Walter Nyamilandu and his Sulom counterpart Innocent Botoman itook turns apologizing to TNM for the unbecoming behavior by some fans.

While congratulating Silver for winning the championship for a third-year running Nyamilandu, who was in a Silver Strikers jersey moved the audience with his hard hitting speech.

“I stand here ashamed and disgraced because of what happened in Balaka. The 2013 season could have ended on an exciting note but it was watered down by the Balaka incident. Football is a beautiful game that deserves respect. The love and respect that we show to our teams should also be transferred to our game.

“If I reflect on the Balaka incident, I come to the conclusion that there is something terribly wrong in our society. Our society is sick to the core. You cannot repay good for bad. Who is going to suffer if TNM closes shop,” quizzed the Fam president as silence engulfed the hall.

Botoman described the Balaka incident as the work of people working for some disgruntled god-fathers, who are out to discredit his administration and gun for positions during the forth-coming Sulom elections.

Principal Secretary for Youth and Sports Justin Saidi, who was guest of honour hailed TNM for pledging to continue the sponsorship despite the ugly scenario.

“You have live up to your slogan- Always With You,’ by being with the soccer fraternity in times of good and bad. Your
support is greatly contributing to government’s efforts of developing sports in the country,” said Saidi before presenting the trophy to Silver.

[highlight style=’pear-green’] Shabby dressing by champions [/highlight]

Apart from the hooliganism issue, the night was overshadowed by the shabby dressing by Silver Strikers players and members of their technical panel, who looked more like vendors than players.

Only team manager Francis Songo wore a decent jacket by the rest of the officials and players were in civilian attire not befitting the occasion.

Officials from Sulom, TNM and other observers were overhead commenting on the dressing by Silver players and technical officials.

“This is their night but look at the way they are dressing. They could have looked presentable in track suits or executive jackets. I don’t know what their management was thinking,” remarked an official from TNM.

A supporter from Silver Strikers also said he was not happy with the manner of dressing by his team.

“This is history in the making and I do not think the players will be proud to reflect on this event in future. This speaks volumes of the management style at our club,” said the fan.

Guest of honour Justin Saidi presents the trophy to Silver's top trustee Kelvin Mmangisa

Guest of honour Justin Saidi presents the trophy to Silver’s top trustee Kelvin Mmangisa

Members observe minute silence in honour of Josita, Pic Leonard Sharra

Members observe minute silence in honour of Josita, Pic Leonard Sharra

They are players not vendors, SS players walk into the banquet hall, Pic Leonard Sharra.

They are players not vendors, SS players walk into the banquet hall, Pic Leonard Sharra.

Mr Jokes entertains the audience, Pic Leonard Sharra

Mr Jokes entertains the audience, Pic Leonard Sharra

Dancing time, Silver players in jubilation after receiving the trophy, Pic Leonard Sharra.

Dancing time, Silver players in jubilation after receiving the trophy, Pic Leonard Sharra.

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