Telecoms Networks Malawi (TNM) has reportedly pulled off its title sponsorship deal with the Super League of Malawi for the flagship league.
TNM sponsors the league with K95 million annually and has been sponsoring the league since 2006.
The withdraw as reported by Zodiak Broadcasting Station, has been triggered by the critiis the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) gave the company for barring other players from supporting the league.
Super League of Malawi (SULOM) General Secretary Williams Banda confirmed the decision by TNM to end its romance with the Super League.
But Banda accused the commission of failing to differentiate between football sponsorship and corporate social responsibility in making its ruling.
The move means all preparations for the 2017 Super League season which was slated to kick off on April 8 have been suspended.
Negotiations for renew of the contract with TNM have also been suspended, said Banda.
The contract between TNM and the Super League of Malawi was due to end on April 12.
Banda said the body will consult the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), clubs and the ministry of sports to review the decision by the CFTC and decide on the way forward.
He said in view of this development, FAM will take a leading role in deciding the way forward.
Among other factors CFTC has ruled that it was unfair for TNM and Sulom to bar other companies from advertising their products within football pitches during super league matches.
The development takes back Malawi football to 2005 when the national league had no sponsor and SULOM struggled to run it with limited resources from the government.
There has been no immediate comment from the CFTC to justify its ruling.
There has been speculation that such a ruling would be made after other companies complained that the agreement between TNM and SULOM was unfair and detrimental to the development of football.
Banda, however, argued in an interview with Zodiak that such accusations are not justified as other players have been allowed to sponsor super league related activities as well as individual teams.
He cited the recent coming in of Airtel to sponsor a K198 million three-year challenge cup for top eight Super League teams as one example of how other companies were participating in super league related activities.
Critics have already accused TNM of playing double standards by withdrawing its sponsorship by hiding behind the determination of the CFTC, saying it was not ready to have other players support the league.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :