By Duncan Mlanjira
This year’s FISD Challenge Cup champions will cart home a cool K20 million as prize money, up from K16 million which last year’s winners, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers received.
This was disclosed last week at Football Association of Malawi’s Mpira Village in Blantyre by the sponsors’ Chief External Operations Affairs Manager, Jack Kujaliwa, who added that the runners-up will receive K7 million with K2 million each going to the losing semifinalists.
There is also a starter pack of K300,000 each for the eight participating regional league teams.
Kujaliwa said FISD is very committed to honour their five-year contract with FAM, which is in its 4th year.
The first champions in 2016 were Mighty Be Forward Wanderers who then went home with K12 million while 2017 winners the title went to Kamuzu Barracks also at K12 million.
Wanderers won it back last year at K16 million when the sponsorship was increased to K60 million from K53 million in 2017. The total package in its inaugural season was K40 million.
Kujaliwa said they will be back next year with more incentive to ignite more passion for the game, most loved by all.
“We promise to honour our contractual pledge of five years and when it shall expire we shall again engage FAM on the way forward,” he said.
“We are proud to be part of football development because we believe we should always give back to the society we trade business with.
“We are happy also that in all the three seasons of this competition, there hadn’t been cases of hooliganism and we urge the fans to maintain this dignity all the time and in any of the country’s tournaments.
“We are here to stay because we are happy that we are contributing to the development of football in this country,” he said.
Thereafter, a draw was conducted in which the eight regional teams, Red Lions, Sable Farming and Hangover from the South; Airborne Rangers, Mafco and Silver Strikers Reserves from the Centre and Baka City and Ekwendeni Hammers for the North were put in one pot with the eight TNM Super League teams that were from position 9 to 16 at the end of this season’s first round.
The teams are Moyale, Mzuni, Karonga United, Savenda Chitipa United, Ntopwa, Masters Security, Mlatho Mponela and Dwangwa United.
The tournament starts with the preliminary round in which Hangover date Airborne Rangers; Dwangwa United v Ntopwa FC; Savenda Chitipa United v Baka City; Sable Farming v Moyale Barracks; Mafco v Mzuni; Karonga United v Ekwendeni Hammers, Masters Security v Red Lions and Silver Reserves v Mlatho Mponela.
The top 8 teams after the first round of the Super League join the title fight in the Round of 16 in which the defending champions Mighty Be Forward Wanderers will meet winners of Masters Security v Red Lions; Kamuzu Barracks date winners of Dwangwa United v Ntopwa FC while Nyasa Big Bullets will be up against Karonga United or Ekwendeni Hammers.
The other Round of 16 fixtures are:
TN Stars v Sable Farming/Moyale Barracks
Mafco/Mzuni v Blue Eagles
Dwangwa United/Ntopwa FC v
Silver Strikers v Red Lions/Silver Reserves
Savenda Chitipa United/Baka City v Civil Sporting Club
Mighty Tigers FC v Hangover/Airborne Rangers
FAM’s Chief Executive Officer Alfred Gunda applauded FISD for increasing the prize money, saying this will give the team’s to fighter harder for the grand prize and at the same time giving the fans the best football.
“Our partnership with FISD had been very cordial and has been very faithful sponsors since 2016.
“Every season, the sponsors have surprised us with new innovation to make the game more glamorous and we don’t take that for granted.
“You have been a consistent partner who always met their part of the obligation in the vision to raise the bar in as far as sponsorship package is concerned,” Gunda said.
FISD also presented the floating trophy to Wanderers for keeps as twice champions of the Challenge.