FAM thrilled with K25m prize money for winners of new FDH Bank League Cup

By Duncan Mlanjira

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has applauded the partnership it is enjoying with FDH Bank for the past three years that has culminated into a bigger and lucrative deal — a new national cup competition that has just hit the football arena following the new sponsorship from FDH Bank at K90 million to be called FDH Bank League Cup, whose winners shall receive a whopping K25 million.

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At the unveiling ceremony held on Thursday at Mpira Village in Blantyre by, a beaming FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said he was over the moon with this milestone that has made the FDH Bank League Cup the highest national competition.

Lighter moment with Flames coaches Meke Mwase and Lovemore Fazili

“We are proud of this kind of generous contribution to Malawi football as it symbolizes the Bank’s serious intention to transform the beautiful game,” he said.

This new deal is on top of the K60 million the bank is in partnership with FAM as a three-year financial support on Malawi national football team that started in 2016.

“This is a turn around of Malawi football investment and fortunes because in total this translates in K450 million total package — that is the K60 million a year for three years and the K90 million a year for five years.

“This is very serious investment and gives us the energy to go and administer football to the highest level from the bottom to the top.

“It is a fertile ground for our coaches to tap raw talent from the grassroots to the top level,” Nyamilandu said.

In the five-year package of the FDH Bank League Cup sponsorship, K53.6 million shall go towards prize money in which K25 million, K8 for the runners-up, K2 million each for losing semifinalists while the losing quarterfinalists will receive K1 million each.

The tournament shall start from May next year starting with all the three regional league level as a preliminary round. The regional leagues shall produce top 16 teams who shall then join the 16 TNM Super League sides.

The top 16 regional teams shall receive an upfront subsidy of K500,000 to cover for their logistical costs.

FDH Bank’s Head of Marketing & Communication, Levie Nkunika, announced that this is also on top of the sponsorship contract that FDH Bank has with the country’s four cities, Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre, through the Mayor’s Trophy, which is a grassroots level tournaments for primary schools.

“No bank believes in the potential of the youth of Malawi, than FDH Bank,” Nkunika said at the ceremony. “That is the reason we pioneered the development of grassroots football in the primary schools in Malawi city’s through the sponsorship of Mayor’s Trophies which completes the equation when it comes to promoting raw talent. 

“No bank believes in the potential of Malawi football, than FDH Bank, that is the reason we first partnered with FAM by sponsoring the Flames in August 2016 when Malawi football was at its lowest. 

“In December, 2018 we also came here at Mpira House to extend the K60 million sponsorship for the Malawi national football team. We have seen fruits of the investment with performance of the team at COSAFA in South Africa and the scorching of the Zebras of Bostwana to qualify for World Cup group stages.

“We have seen a general improvement in performance of the Flames as well and some milestones worth noting and celebrating is dominance of young players in the national team, players like Peter Banda and Gerald Phiri Junior.

“This means one thing; the future of our football is bright. The bank champions growth. 

“We believe in nurturing businesses to flourish, nurturing raw talent to shine at the big stage. We are not afraid to step into the ordinary and turn it into extraordinary,” Nkunika said.

A beaming FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said he was over the moon with this milestone that has made the FDH Bank League Cup the highest national competition.

“We are proud of this kind of generous contribution to Malawi football as it symbolizes the Bank’s serious intention to transform the beautiful game,” he said.

“This is a turn around of Malawi football investment and fortunes because in total this translates in K450 million total package — that is the K60 million a year for three years and the K90 million a year for five years.

“This is very serious investment and gives us the energy to go and administer football to the highest level from the bottom to the top.

“It is a fertile ground for our coaches to tap raw talent from the grassroots to the top level,” Nyamilandu said.

The FDH Bank Cup adds the number of competitions FAM administers to four. The other tournaments are the Ecobank Charity Shield sponsored by Ecobank, Airtel top 8 sponsored by Airtel and FISD Challenge Cup sponsored by FISD Company limited.

The Ecobank Charity Shield is an opener of the season and is competed for by the top four at the end of the TNM Super League while the Airtel Top 8 is for by the teams that finish in the first eight in the league.

The FISD Challenge Cup is for by all the 16 TNM Super League clubs as well as eight teams that finished top three at the end of their respective regional leagues’ first round in the South and Centre and two from the North.

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.

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.

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.