Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has expressed shock to the announcement by Standard Bank about the withdraw if sponsorship for its Knockout cup effective 5th February 2016.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu Manda told Nyasa Times in an interview reacting to the news, that his body and entire football fraternity in Malawi has learnt with “great concern” news of sponsorship withdraw.
Nyamilandu said the withdraw of cup sponsorship is a huge setback and big loss considering the impact it has had on Malawi football since it was introduced in 2007.
“FAM treasure the good times and support Standard Bank has given to the game of football over the years,” Nyamilandu said.
He said Standard Bank came in to sponsor football when the corporate world had deserted football and as FAM they tried to safeguard the partnership for nine years by ensuring professionalism in the organising of the cup,
“It is painful that the reasons given for the withdraw of sponsorship are non-football related,” said Nyamilandu.
The bank cited microeconomic factors for their decision to stop sponsorship.
“We would have wished if Standard Bank had given adequate notice of one more season to look for another sponsor and wish FAM had a chance to address Standard Bank concerns…
“At the end of the day nothing lasts forever and FAM accepts Standard Bank’s decision to withdraw and prepares to move on,” Nyamilandu said.
Standard Bank announced their sponsorship withdraw in a statement released Friday 5th February citing economic hardship which has hit the country as the main reason that has forced them to stop sponsoring the cup as they are trying to find ways of minimising their expenditures and ensure the bank doesn’t shut down.