Airtel Malawi unveils ‘Zamadolo’ as 2021 Airtel Top 8 slogan; donates sets of jerseys to all teams

Kamoto (right) and Nyamilandu pose besides the trophy and the kits for the teams

* ‘Zamadolo’ theme is to inspire players to have a feeling that they’re indeed the stars of soccer in Malawi

* Season Four opener is between Nyasa Big Bullets and MAFCO FC at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday

* Followed by a second match between Mighty Wanderers and Moyale Barracks at the same venue the following day

By Victor Singano Jnr

Sponsors, Airtel Malawi Plc on Thursday unveiled ‘Zamadolo’ as the official theme of this year’s Airtel Top 8 championship, which is scheduled to kick-off this weekend with an opener of this Season Four being between Nyasa Big Bullets and MAFCO FC at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday, November 6.

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The opener follows a second match between Mighty Wanderers and Moyale Barracks at the same venue the following day.

Speaking during the press conference at Mpira Village in Chiwembe — where the sponsors also donated latest sets of jerseys to each Top 8 participating team — Airtel Malawi Managing Director, Charles Kamoto said they decided on the ‘Zamadolo’ theme as one way of inspiring the players to have a feeling that they’re indeed the stars of soccer in Malawi.

Zamadolo stands for ‘championship for the best’ — which is an end of the season tournament that pits the top 8 from the TNM Super League championship.

The League title was retained by Nyasa Big Bullets with Silver Strikers as the runners-up and Mighty Wanderers on third position with CIVO on 4th; Karonga 5th; Moyale 6th; TN Stars 7th and MAFCO 8th. The company disclosed this.

Kamoto added that the theme resonates well with the change of the championship’s quarterfinal phase, which will be played in a home and away format while the semifinals and the final being one-off knockout.

“We are doing all these things in order to bring morale to the competition as we also appreciate the partnership which is there between Football Association of Malawi and us,” Kamoto said.

“It is our expectation that the tournament will be one of its kind because we’ve also introduced a number of prizes to be won by the supporters and this include match tickets, T-shirts, caps just to mention a few.”

In his remarks, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu applauded Airtel for its commitment by maintaining their relationship with the football governing body through continuation of the sponsorship for the 4th-year running.

He said this recognition and strong partnership deserves appreciation, considering the economic challenges being faced by the country as a result of CoVID-19 pandemic.

Nyamilandu took cognizance that it is not easy to secure such a lucrative sponsorship or to see companies coming forward and invest their hard-earned money into football with the current economic hiccups.

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Thus he pleaded with teams and supporters to maintain discipline by observing all rules of the game in order to safeguard the sponsorship for the sponsors to realize some benefits from.

Nyamilandu also said the competition will help national team players to keep themselves fit as they prepare for the 2022 African Cup of Nations final in Cameroon.

“We all know that CoVID-19 disrupted our football programs and the season wasn’t that much entertaining but with this Airtel Top 8 — which is coming after some CoVID 19 restrictions have been lifted — we are now hopeful that we’ll finish the 2021 season with a bang and we promise to make this year’s competition a historical one.

Silver Strikers are the Airtel Top 8 defending champions

Winners of this year’s Airtel Top 8 are expected to receive K17 million with runners-up going away K5.5 million.

Players of the tournament and golden boot award winner will each receive K500,000 while all the man of the match winner from quarterfinal stage will be receiving K50,000.

The tournament’s defending champions are Silver Strikers, who will begin their title defense with a home tie against TN Stars at Nankhaka Stadium on November 13 before CIVO and Karonga United wrapping up the quarterfinal first leg phase at CIVO Stadium on Sunday, November 14.

The return legs will see Moyale playing Wanderers on November 20 at a venue yet to be communicated while MAFCO will welcome Bullets to Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa the following day.

Karonga Stadium will then host Karonga United against Civo on November 27 before TN Stars and Silver Strikers wrap up the quarterfinal stage at Kasungu Stadium 24 hours later.

The final match Airtel Top 8 final is expected to be played on December 18 2021.

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