Blow to Malawi football: Sponsors TNM approaches athletics

Uncertainty surrounds the future of TNM Super League sponsorship in Malawi after the mobile telecommunications company TNM, sponsors of the flagship league, approached Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) for a long term athletics sponsorship.

Impeccable sources confided to the Nyasa Times that a seven-member high powered delegation from TNM held an impromptu meeting with AAM at Malawi National Council of Sports offices on Tuesday on the possibility of sponsoring athletics.

This should raise eyebrows on the future of its annual K60 million sponsorship to football amid a spate of violence this season that culminated in a loss of life at Balaka Stadium during an abandoned decider between Mighty Wanderers and Silver Striker .

Ngwenya :  Moving to athletics
Ngwenya : Moving to athletics

TNM renewed its sponsorship last season with an increase from K50 million annually to K60 million for three years, running out next season.

The source, speaking on strict condition of anonymity, said the TNM officials requested AAM to prepare a budget for both full and half marathon events this year.

“The meeting took AAM off-guard as they did not expect that it would such a big and important meeting,” said the source.

“The seven-member TNM officials held the meeting with AAM president Godfrey Phiri, vice-general secretary Ireen Luka, Southern Region chairman Christopher Kabwazi and asked AAM to prepare a budget as soon as possible.”

The move should be a relief to the current AAM administration which lost its trusted sponsor, Dairibord Malawi  barely a year after being voted into office.

The association held the national cross country on Saturday at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre without any corporate sponsors.

The government through Malawi National Council of Sports sponsored the event which saw the champions pocketing K50,000 each in senior men’s and women’s, runners-up getting K25,000 and K12,000 for those on third position.

In the junior men’s and women events champions received K30,000 each, second placed got  K15,000 and third placed K7,500.

TNM recently said they are disturbed by the continued acts of violence at football matches.

“We have been talking about the avoidance of violence and hooliganism at football matches for a long time. We are disturbed with the latest incident, especially the loss of life and several injuries,” TNM head of marketing Sobhuza Ngwenya is on record saying.

Ngwenya said management has agreed to wait for a report from Sulom to determine the way forward.

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