Castel Malawi has unveiled a three-year sponsorship for Castel Challenge Cup in excess of K1 billion, which is the highest in the history of Malawi football.
Speaking during the unveiling of the sponsorship at Hotel Ryalls in Blantyre Monday, Castel Malawi Managing Director Thomas Reynaud said they decided to sponsor the cup to help uplift the standards of football in the country.
Reynaud said the launch could not have come at a better time as the country is recovering from the devastating effects s of Cyclone Freddy.
He explained: “We felt it was very important to increase the fans’ happiness. You, know, Blantyre has been impacted by Cyclone Freddy.
“We would like to see a lot of fun in the population. Football is international. it’s a big link among the population. We want to see more fun and the happiness.”
On his part, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu was lost of words.
He said: “We have another reason to celebrate and rejoice! The level of sponsorship that Castel has just announced is unprecedented and record-breaking.”
Castel Malawi, formerly Carlsberg Malawi, is returning to sponsor football after withdrawing Carlsberg Cup sponsorship in 2019.
For this year alone, Castel Malawi is pumping in over K320 million towards the cup.
The national champion will get K50 million while the e runners-up will get K25 million.
The two semi-finalists will get MK10 million each while four quarter-finalists will walk away with K5 million each.
The competition will start at district level where 31 district champions will receive MK750,000 each while 17 teams that will qualify from the regional level will get K1 million each.
Nyamilandu thanked Castel Malawi for including the prizes from district and regional level.
He said: “I am also happy that Castel Challenge Cup has embraced rural football by making them an integral part of the competition. Castel has even gone further to surpass our expectations by setting aside prize money for winners from the districts and I can assure you that with such a level of diversity and multifaceted approach, our game will never be the same again.
“There will be very stiff competition from bottom to the top and wholesome entertainment across the breadth of the country. The spin-offs of the Castel Challenge Cup will be huge as it will impact every stakeholder in a very big way and transform the landscape of Malawi football.”
Nyamilandu said the format will also help unearth talent from rural areas.
“Without any shed of doubt, the Castel Challenge Cup will bear good fruits by unearthing hidden talent and producing excellent talent that will make the game of football more competitive and exciting to the eye. This will provide a great opportunity for the Super League teams to scout for talented players and in the process boost performance of the Flames,” he explained.
Guest of honour Minster of Youth and Sports Uchizi Mkandawire hailed Castel Malawi for the sponsorship.
He said: “I am pleased to be here this evening to officially launch the Castel Challenge Cup. Allow me to extend heartfelt gratitude to Castel management for the magnificent sponsorship Castel Cup which is highest in history of football sponsorship in country.
“I therefore urge FAM and Super League of Malawi to take advantage of Castel sponsorship to improve standards of football and the social welfare of players.
“With this prestigious sponsorship, we are certain that our country is heading in the right direction as far as football is concerned.”
Mkandawire pledged full support of the cup to ensure it achieves its objectives.
He said: “Let me assure you all that government and my ministry will also make sure that this sponsorship is well supported to achieve its objectives and those of Castel Malawi.”