Violence in Mzuzu costs Bullets sponsorship, says Carlsberg Malawi

Big Bullets: Violence spoiled it
Big Bullets: Violence spoiled it

Carlsberg Malawi has come out in the open to clear the mist surrounding the controversial decision to settle to offer the sponsorship to both Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers clubs.

The brewer picked both Bullets and Mighty for a one-year initial sponsorship package of K15 million with one of them set to land a landmark K30 million sponsorship depending on discipline, performance and marketing and commercialisation drives.

But the country’s leading brewer settled for both Bullets and Wanderers which did not go down well with most soccer fans as they felt the People’s Team were robbed having performed better than their archrivals.

Twikale Chirwa, Senior Brands Manager for Carlsberg Malawi told  Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview that the People’s Team were guilty of violence in the Carlsberg Cup third round 2-1 loss to  Super Eagles cost them the sponsorship.

He said the decision to offer both teams the sponsorship had nothing to do with business interest.

“We were ready and willing to sponsor one of the teams and the decision to settle for both teams has nothing to do with business interest but it was made on professional grounds,” Chirwa said.

“Bullets performed better on the pitch but we looked at how their supporters behaved especially in the Carlsberg Cup game in Mzuzu against Super League in which lives would have been lost.

“I am sure if they had not misbehaved in Mzuzu they would have got it because Carlsberg does not condone violence,” he said

He also said the company would do everything possible to offer the better team of the 2013/14 season, which kicked off last week, the sponsorship.

Carlsberg Chief Executive Officer Abel Chanje said during the announcement a month ago both teams did not outdo each other on discipline and performance.

“Carlsberg does not condone indiscipline. You could have done better. There was no much significant in terms of behaviour for both teams,” Chanje said.

Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire prior to the announcement of the sponsorship was optimistic that Bullets had an edge over their rivals in terms of performance after finishing on second position in the TNM Super League only separated by goal difference with the champions, Silver Strikers.

Wanderers finished on a distant fourth position 10 points adrift of their rivals.

Most people sympathised with Bullets on the social media describing the decision unfair as the brewer had promised that there would not be a scenario for a tie.

They won the richest cup on the land Presidential Cup and beat Wanderers 3-0 in a reverse fixture of the Super League after losing 2-1 in the first round.

They reached the semifinals of the Standard Knockout where they lost to eventual winners, Wanderers.

The Nomads won Standard Bank Knockout Cup and finished on a distant fourth position behind Silver, Bullets and last year’s sensational side Blantyre United.

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