A meager K2.7 million was grossed from Sunday’s Standard Bank Knock-out Cup ‘double-header’ at Silver Stadium in the capital city, Lilongwe where two pairs of teams from the top flight league battled
out for two semi-final slots in the K28 million rich football tournament.
Salima based military sides Mafco and giant killers Airborne Rangers squared it up over lunch hour in the first quarterfinal before Lilongwe giants Silver Strikers and Blue Eagles stepped onto the field for the second quarterfinal tie of the day.
Despite Lilongwe fans getting thrilled to the double-header, the two teams from the lake-district went back home cursing competition organizers Football Association of Malawi (Fam) after receiving pea nuts from the gate collections.
Only K2.7 million was grossed from the gates and this prompted Fam to allocate smaller chunks of money to Mafco and Airborne. The two military teams received K89,000 each with Silver and Blue Eagles pocketing K364,000 each.
Fam and ground owners- Reserve Bank of Malawi also pocketed K364,000 with the firm assigned to man the games getting close to K200,000. The rest of the money went towards security, first aid and other services.
According to Nyasa Times sources in the transaction room, there was discontent over the sharing formula from the soldiers’ camps who reportedly accused Fam of staging the two games at one venue on the same day.
Analysts and observers also questioned the logic behind scheduling the games at one venue.
“Fam should accept that they have goofed. They could have staged the Mafco, Airborne game in Dwangwa or Dedza to allow fans in the other districts sample the Standard Bank Cup action. That way the teams could have benefited more from gate takings,” said Lilongwe based sports journalist Frank Kalilombe.