Mutharika trashes SRFL claims on sponsorship

Professor Peter Mutharika has trashed claims by Southern Region Football League (SRFL) Committee that the sponsor is dodging a move to hold a formal meeting with the league committee to map the way forward and determine the future of the reigning three year football sponsorship.

SRFL Chairman Trouble Kalua recently told the media that they are awaiting a formal assurance from Mutharika whether the sponsorship deal will continue.

This followed an announcement by Mutharika thorough his aide Ben Phiri recently that the sponsor had pulled out.

Kalua claimed he had tried all means of communicating to the sponsor but no any response was made.

But Phiri told The Nation newspaper on Wednesday 02 October, 2013 that Kalua’s claims are baseless and unfounded.

Mutharika presenting media award prize to Nyasa Times sports repoter Elijah Phimbi
Mutharika presenting media award prize to Nyasa Times sports repoter Elijah Phimbi

“I just cannot believe it. What does he (Kalua) mean by saying we are avoiding his calls and we are not responding to his e-mails”?

“It is a childish [claims] in a way because just yesterday (Monday I spoke to the Chairperson of National Women Football (Severia] Chalira and assured her that we are committed and they can go ahead with registration and the same applies to SRFL. said Phiri.

He added: “Actually I am in Blantyre to sort out the sponsorship issue. We cannot pull out at this stage because for us, as sponsors, this is s crucial year. We would rather see out the contract as problem with either Trouble [Kalua] or the league but it is the manner that they are handling the issue that is of major concern”

Phiri however said it is the wish of the sponsor to fulfill the commitment and promise they made of sponsoring the game of football for three years.

But in response, Kalua said he alongside his committee has no any issues against the sponsor but that time is running out.

He hinted that the committee is for example lacking funds for administration of the league since the administrative fee has not been released.

Mutharika is sponsoring SRFL at a tune of K5 million annually under a three year contract which has a year to go while the women’s football league is pegged at K18 million with each region pocketing K6 million ()K2 Million annually).

The three year contract expires in 2014.

Mutharika announced a month ago that he has pulled out the sponsorship citing Political interference and governments move to block his personal account.

“It is no secret that the professor is having difficulties accessing his finances because they have been blocked by the government and therefore it is becoming increasingly difficult to fulfill our obligations,” Phiri is on record.

But government denied blocking the DPP 2014 torch bearer challenging him to bring evidence in backing his allegations.

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