THE gods of football are smiling for Malawi football, at least in the realm of cup competition sponsorships with the Standard Bank Wednesday announcing that it will continue its romance with the local game.

That is just half the story, announcing the news in Lilongwe, the bank further said it would also hike sponsorship money for the Standard Bank Top Eight Cup.

However, the amount of the sponsorship money for this year’s competition will be under wraps until 30 June when the trophy will be re-launched.

This comes barely a week after Carlsberg announced a massive return to the local game with sponsorship deals for traditional giants of the local game— Bullets FC and MTL Wanderers and the resuscitating of the old Carlsberg Cup.

Speaking at a press briefing held in Lilongwe yesterday, a Fam president Walter Nyamilandu hailed the development as a sign of exciting times for local football and vowed on behalf of the association to ensure the competition would be run to the expectations of the sponsors.

“I am extremely excited, the bank has proven to be a reliable partner of football even at the time the local game was being deserted,” Nyamilandu said.

He said the cup, which was introduced five years ago and previously run as Fam Cup, has been a huge success citing players in the national team which were spotted while playing in the competition like the competition’s player of the tournament John Banda from champions Blue Eagles.

On her part, Standard Bank Head of Marketing Department Linda Kachingwe- Sisya said the Bank was pleased with the professionalism Fam has displayed throughout its association with the bank hence the decision to continue the sponsorship.

“There is a lot on the horizon from the bank. The nation should hold its breath until the launch on June 30 when we will unpack a lot of activities for the competition. Certainly the sponsorship has been raised and there will be other exciting competitions and promotions to run with this year’s cup,” she said.

She announced that once again the top six in the Super League will automatically qualify for the competition while the fans will be involved by voting for the last two teams. Blue Eagles are the current holders of the competition.

The news mean Super League teams are now guaranteed three top flight competitions with the Carlsberg Cup and Presidential Cup completing the set of main trophies.

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