FAM on Wednesday cleared the air surrounding their decision to turn down a K1.8 million (about $4 500) sponsorship offer from Airtel for a pre-season tournament involving Super League teams, saying it would have been in conflict
with Sulom’s league
sponsorship contract with
TNM.

Football Association of
Malawi (FAM) president
Walter Nyamilandu was
reacting to claims by Airtel managing director Saulos Chilima at an Airtel Rising Star function held in Lilongwe on Wednesday that the association turned its
back on an offer to bankroll a Charity Cup.

“They [Airtel] indeed made an offer to sponsor a Charity Shield involving Super League clubs, but when we consulted our Sulom counterparts, it was established that it would be in conflict with the TNM Super League sponsorship agreement which stipulates that Super League clubs are
not supposed to participate in a competition that is
sponsored by a competitor.

“We found ourselves in a
tight situation. We ended up advising them to consider sponsoring either the national team or indeed a youth competition and we
are still waiting to hear from them,” said Nyamilandu.

He said the Airtel offer was made just before the start of the current season.

“But our position is that the door is open and we would want to secure them if they can come in a different form.

We are interested to work with Airtel to play a
meaningful part in the
development of football,”
said Nyamilandu.

Sulom president Innocent
Bottomani confirmed being approached by FAM on the matter.

“There could have been an element of breach of
contract with TNM had FAM gone ahead to accept the offer and the consequences would have been far reaching,” said Bottomani.

Chilima said, despite the
hitch, they have not given up on the prospect of
sponsoring football at top
level.

“Maybe if we discuss with
Sports Council and FAM, we should be able to find a solution and chart the way forward.

But firstly, we need
to find out where the
problem is,” Chilima told the media.

TNM sponsors the flagship
league to the tune of K65
million (about $163 000) per season.

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