Minister of Sports, Youth and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has said he will engage premier mobile and data service provider Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM)officials on the issue of sponsorship for the flagship Super League.
TNM announced on Tuesday that they have withdrawn their K90 million flagship Super League sponsorship following Competition and Fair Trade Commission (CFTC) ruling that their contract with Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has unfair trade practice clauses.
“I am arranging a meeting with officials of TNM and see how best we can address their concerns,” Mussa said.
But Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they are seeking legal opinion on the matter arguing there is a running contract until December 2017 and that TNM needs to give 30 days notice before pulling.
“The contract is a legal document so we need to seek legal clarity if TNM has withdrawn from contract renewal talks or the current contract,” Banda said.
Added Banda: “TNM and Sulom signed a five-season contract which ends after the 2017 season. This means the contract is still running and if they want to pull out, there are legal implications.”
He continued: “TNM still have a season left in the contract.”
But TNM’s chief executive officer Douglas Stevenson said in a statement that the company has made the decision to “fully withdraw from the sponsorship of Super League and let other potential sponsors take part in the continued development of the sport in Malawi.”
He said TNM acknowledges and abides by the determination made by CTFC and “would not want to be found to be acting in a manner that has ‘negative effects on the development of football in Malawi as stated on page 20 of the [CFTC] report.”
In the statement, TNM has also stressed the importance of exclusivity in commercial sponsorship.