Malawi premier mobile and data servicer provider TNM has formally announced that it has withdrawn its sponsorship to the flagship Super League sponsorship following Competition and Fair Trade Commission (CFTC) ruling that when renewing the contract, clauses that stop Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and clubs from entering agreements with other mobile service providers should be scraped off.
TNM Chief Executive Office Douglas Steveson said in a letter to president of Sulom and copied to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) that the company has made the decision to “fully withdraw from sponsorship of the Super League and let other potential sponsors take part in the continued development of the sport in Malawi.”
Steveson said TNM “acknowledged and abides” by the determination made by the CFTC and would not want to be found acting in a manner that has “negative effects on the development of football in Malawi.”
He said TNM has invested an equivalent of over K2.6billion towards the Super League in the past 10 years in both sponsorship money and other investments in the league development.
“Sulom is therefore at liberty to now engage with any willing sponsor who has interest in football,” Osman said.
“TNM would like to thank Sulom, FAM, all the soccer fans and the company’s loyal subscribers for the opportunity given [to] them to grow with the league over the past 10 years.
“We hope that the progress football has made, significantly due to our decade long dedidctaion to the Super League can be leveraged by future sponsors for the good of the sport,” Steveson said.
According to the contract for the Super League sponsorship, TNM entrusted Sulom with the responsibility to refrain from entering other agreements which would restrict or prevent them from providing the rights granted to TNM.
But CFTC ruled that this is against Competition and Fair Trading Commission Act.
“In its determination, the commission established that the sponsorship agreement that TNM signed with Sulom had some clauses that were restrictive and potentially prevented Sulom and football teams participating in the Super League from accessing sponsorship from competitors of TNM,” reads a CFTC ruling.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said the withdraw of TNM is “big blow” to Malawi football.
Banda said Sulom will now go into sponsorship hunt for the flagship leagye but conceded it will be tough to get another sponsor a month before the season kicks off next month.