The Football Association of Malawi has expressed optimism of finding a new sponsor to replace Standard Bank which withdrew sponsorship for the Standard Bank Knockout Cup a few days ago.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu was reacting to the bank’s sponsorship withdrawal.
“We will court the corporate world because the door is open for any interested sponsors,” he said.
“It is a big loss. We treasure the good times and support the bank gave to the game of football. It’s more painful when the reasons given are not football related,” he added.
Nyamilandu also blamed the bank for giving a short notice of withdrawal.
“We also wish they could have given us adequate notice of one more season to look for another sponsor,” he lamented.
Standard Bank announced the withdrawal of the K43 million knockout cup, attributing it to the tough economic climate.
The development ended the bank’s nine-year marriage with domestic football dating back to 2007 when the tournament was introduced.
In a statement issued by the bank stated that: “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. We have been forced by these circumstances to become more introspective about how we think about continuing to build a sustainable business going into the future.”
It further stated that ass a consequence, it had to take a closer look at its revenue structure and potential, as well as its cost structure, “and we have unfortunately found ourselves needing to make some uncomfortable decisions.”
The financial institution has since expressed immense gratitude to FAM for a solid and fruitful partnership relating to the Knock-Out Cup that dates back to 2007.
“This partnership allowed us to play our part in promoting the social transformation of the youth through sponsorship of the cup.
“As Standard Bank, we are very proud of our contribution towards football development in the country. It goes without saying that football standards have improved as witnessed by the record number of players that have turned professional,” reads part of the statement.
Standard Bank also recalled with fond memories that it was during the subsistence of the cup that the Malawi national team, the Flames, qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 in Angola after 26 years in the wilderness.