LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) Limited has dropped a bombshell announcing the withdrawal of the prestigious K60 million Fisd Challenge Cup sponsorship, citing a harsh business climate and Covid-19 as the main reasons.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) confirmed the development describing it as a big setback , considering the impact the tournament had on local football since its launch in 2016.
“To date, the Fisd Challenge Cup was the only national cup that provided a platform for amateur teams at district level to play against elite Super League teams,” FAM said in a statement.
The tournament had the highest winner’s prize of K20 million while the runners-up purse was pegged at K7 million.
FAM said its executive committee resolved during a meeting held on Saturday in Mangochi to accept Fisd’s decision to pull out of the deal which expired on December 31 2021 “despite the company having an obligation to release sponsorship funds for the 2020/2021 season”.
Part of FAM’s statement reads: “Fisd has indicated that the decision was arrived at due to current business operating environment of the company and its directors.
“FAM fully understands the plight of the company and is saddened that its five-year relationship with Fisd Limited has come to an end in this unceremonious manner without a befitting send-off on the field of play due to the Covid-19 situation and other non-footballing reasons.”
Meanwhile, FAM has hiven a vote of thanks to Fisd Limited, a wholly Malawian-owned company for their support, passion and commitment in football development.
“Fisd will always be welcome should they consider coming back into the game in future,” the FAM statement further reads.
Blue Eagles are the current holders of the cup, having beaten Kamuzu Barracks (KB) in last year’s final through post-match penalty shoot-out. While Mighty Wanderers were the first team to win the tournament in 2016, they also won it in 2018 while KB and Eagles won it once each in 2017 and 2019, respectively.