Econet sponsors Malawi soccer

BLANTYRE - Malawi's soccer sponsorship drought has ended with the launch of a Super League worth more than US$1.1 million (MWK150 m), thanks to the Econet Wireless Group. Econet last year pulled the plug on its sponsorship of Zimbabwe's premiership soccer following differences w

ith the government-sponsored NetOne and meddling in football by politicians. It is sponsoring the league through its Malawian subsidiary, Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) in which the South African-based but Zimbabwean-owned telecommunications group has a 60 percent stake. “It is our expectation that launch of this league will improve football standards, which we hope will translate to the national team’s better performance,” said TNM Director of Marketing Charles Kamoto, at the launch of the league on Saturday. The league kicked off with an Honour’s Cup at Kamuzu International Stadium between the country’s top football outfits Big Bullets and MTL Wanderers battled it out in a pre-league Honours Cup. MTL Wanderers grabbed the honour’s cup after outpacing their archrivals 5-3 from the penalty spot. The honour’s match was graced by Malawi’s revered soccer export Ernest ‘Livewire’ Mtawali, who turned for the Big Bullets side. In 1988, Mtawali emerged the first foreign player to win South Africa’s Player-of-the-Year award. His career also took him to France where he played for Toullouse FC, Argentina where he donned Newell’s Old Boys colours and Saudi Arabia for Al Wadha. Soccer fans said however, that they were disappointed with the failure by former South African top-goal scorer and international Phil “Chippa” Masinga to turn up for the game. Masinga, who was expected to play for Wanderers, reportedly missed a flight into Blantyre. The tournament’s organisers also failed to live up to their promise of bringing Zambia’s soccer great Kalusha Bwalya and South Africa John ‘Shoes’ Mosheu who were expected to give the event more credence. – CAJ News

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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