Winning the Fast5 netball series bronze medal was not enough to convince Airtel Malawi to renew their K360 million contract with the Malawi National Netball Team (the Queens) through Netball Association of Malawi (NAM), Malawi24 can reveal.
In a press statement released by the company on Thursday afternoon, the decision to part ways with the Queens is to allow other would-be sponsors to take over the team as well as give room to other sports sectors in the country the chance to equally flourish from Airtel’s support.
“We have now come to the end of the contract and Airtel, believing we have achieved the medium to long term objectives of the sponsorship, will not be renewing the contract.
“We believe leaving on such a high note will pave way for other willing sponsors to support the sport and take it to another level as well as afford other sports sectors in the country the chance to flourish from our support,” reads part of the statement.
According to the company, they are very happy with what the Queens have achieved in the last three years of the deal.
“Our objective was to help make netball flourish and now at the end of these three years, it is satisfying to witness our investment bearing fruits and our objectives achieved not only have our Queens reached their potential by breaking into the top 3 in the World and reclaimed their number 1 spot in Africa, but the overall local sport of netball from the grassroots has advanced to new heights in both skill and quality.
“And so as we exit the K360 million netball sponsorship, we depart with the conviction that we have not only managed to establish a stable foundation for the sport, but have also adequately assisted in raising the quality of the sport of netball both locally and internationally to what it is now including changing the public perception of the sport,” continued the statement.
NAM officials are yet to comment on the development. But the news will come as a blow to NAM who have been complaining of lack of funds to the Queens especially when preparing for international games.
As it is, the Queens have no official sponsors despite being successful in various World Netball tournaments.