Castel Challenge Cup sponsorship increased from K320m to K400m

* We have seen value in our partnership and we are looking forward to yet another exciting season—Castel’s MD Reynaud

* It is testament to the value football is offering in return and the excellent relationship between FAM and corporate world—Fleetwood Haiya

Maravi Express

For its second edition of the Castel Challenge Cup, the sponsorship has been increased from K320 million to K400 million.


This was announced by Thomas Reynaud, Castel Malawi Managing Director, on Wednesday during the Awards Night held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre to honour best performers of the inaugural 2023 edition

“We have seen value in our partnership and we are looking forward to yet another exciting season,” Reynaud said, while Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president, Fleetwood Haiya said the 25% sponsorship increase is testament to the value football is offering in return and the excellent relationship between FAM and corporate world.

At the launch of the tournament in April last year, the whole package was unveiled as K1 billion, which went down in the history books as Malawi’s largest sporting sponsorship ever, and to run in three years.

Each year, Castel was to stake K320 million with the champions banking a K50 million cheque and K25 million for the runners-up and the champions to automatically earn their slot in Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions Cup.

In individual player awards, Nyasa Big Bullets Lanjesi Nkhoma was voted Player of the Tournament with his teammate, Richard Chimbamba being honoured as Goalkeeper of the Tournament while Bangwe All Stars’ Emmanuel Saviel is Discovery Player of the Tournament.

Lanjesi Nkhoma

Richard Chimbamba

Emmanuel Saviel

Saviel was the discovery player having performed beyond expectations that saw him score five goals to win the Golden Boot award alongside five others who netted same numbers of goals — Mphatso Philimon, Peter Kasonga (both for Mafco); Chiukepo Msowoya (Mighty Wanderers); Patrick Macheso (Silver Strikers) and Gastin Simkonda (Moyale Barracks).

In the media category, Best Radio Journalist award went to Richard Tiyesi (Timveni Radio); Best Photojournalist to Bobby Kabango (Nation Publications Limited); Best Print Journalist to Isaac Salima (Times Group); Best Online to Joseph Dumbula (MIJ Online) and Best TV to Hankey Chimtengo (Mibawa TV).

Community radio journalists was also recognised and the best were Victor Musongole (Tingabane Radio, Northern Region); Jameson Kalimba (Mtunthama Radio, Central) and George Sulumba (Ndirande FM, Southern).


Meanwhile, FAM has released list of three nominees for the 2023 Airtel Top 8 player of the tournament award — Nyasa Big Bullets duo strikers Maxwell Phoso and Lanjesi Nkhoma (who won the golden boot with three goals and MAFCO goalkeeper Christopher Mikuwa.

The winner will be crowned at a special ceremony to be hosted by the sponsors Airtel Malawi later this month and according to FAM competitions & communications director, Gomezgani Zakazaka, the competitions technical study group came up with nominations after analysing the competition’s statistics.

Zakazaka said a selected group of coaches under the National Coaches Association, who were responsible for selecting player of the match in the competition, and some football journalists will vote for the award.

In three games he played, Lanjesi was one of the outstanding players for Nyasa Big Bullets as they won their second Airtel Top 8 in which he scored three goals — including a brace in the final as Bullets edged MAFCO 2-1 at the Kamuzu Stadium which saw him walk away with the man of the match accolade.

Lanjesi Nkhoma scored three goals

With a game time of 261 minutes in three matches played, Maxwell Phodo ranked fourth on the players who played more minutes for the champions, just 36 minutes short of highly ranked Nickson Nyasulu.

He scored in both legs against Civo in the quarterfinals with his return leg strike proving to be crucial as Bullets survived a Civo comeback-scare to proceed to the semi-final.

MAFCO had a good run in cup competitions in 2023 reaching two finals including the Airtel Top 8 and one of the key players in their run to a first ever Top 8 final was goalkeeper Christopher Mikuwa.

He kept a clean sheet in the quarter-final first leg match at home against Kamuzu Barracks which gave the Salima soldiers an advantage to advance to the semi-final on away goal rule following a one all draw in the return leg.

He then become a hero in the semi-final, saving one penalty as MAFCO eliminated Silver Strikers on post-match penalties.—Reporting by