The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says it is deeply shocked with the news that Standard Bank has withdrawn from sponsoring the flagship Standard Bank Knockout Cup.
On Friday, the bank released a statement announcing that it will no longer sponsor the Standard Bank Knockout Cup.
“In light of the changes in the macroeconomic environment and all the attendant business challenges, the bank has had to refocus its strategy. What has become apparent in recent years is that, it has become increasingly challenging to grow the revenue of the bank at a pace which allows the bank which matches the increase in costs” reads part of the statement.
The Bank states that the pace that the country’s economy is taking has made it “increasingly challenging” for the bank to generate revenue.
But in its response, FAM in a statement signed by its President, Walter Nyamilandu said that the news had caught the football body unawares and that it a blow to Malawi’s football.
”This is a huge setback and big loss considering the impact the sponsorship has had on Malawi football since 2007. FAM treasures the good times and support Standard Bank has given to the game of football over the years.”
”Standard Bank came in to sponsor football when the corporate world had deserted football and FAM jealously safeguarded this partnership for nine years by ensuring professionalism in the organising of the cup. It is painful that the reasons given for the withdraw of sponsorship are non-football related.” a statement from FAM reads.
On the other hand the football body worried that the bank did not give a prior notice whcih would in turn allow the body to fetch for new sponsors in the same vein.
”FAM would have wished if Standard Bank had given adequate notice of one more season to look for another sponsor and wish it had a chance to address Standard Bank concerns but is as helpless because the matter is beyond it’s control.”
The FA has since said it will keep lobbying the corporate world to help Malawi’s football.