Castel, FAM donate 217 match balls for Castel Cup

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Haiya (second left) presents one of the match balls to a district official as Chitakata (left) and Fam executive member Susan Dossi watch

Leading alcoholic beverage producers in the country, Castel Malawi, in conjunction with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) have donated 217 footballs to be used in the 2024 Castel Challenge Cup launched at Champions Stadium in Mponela on Saturday. 

The match balls have been handed over to all district football committees  in the country, each getting seven balls. 

Speaking in an interview, Castel Malawi’s Head of Corporate Marketing and Communication, Lavern Chitakata said after evaluating the cup’s inaugural season last year, as the sponsor, they discovered that most districts had challenges with proper match balls. 

“It is our wish to see the growth of football in Malawi and rural areas. We have seen big value in football since we started sponsoring the Cup last year. We see how it has impacted a lot of communities.”

Chitakata kicks the ball to symbolise the kick off of the Castel Challenge Cup

“The raising of the sponsorship within a year from K320 million to K400 million shows our commitment to football development. That is why this year we included in our budget provision of match balls to cushion the teams on the challenges faced last year,” said Chitakata. 

FAM president, Fleetwood Haiya commended Castel Malawi for their commitment towards football development in the country.

Haiya said FAM has made it mandatory for all football competition organizers to provide match balls.

“We cannot start football matches or competitions without providing footballs. Teams and organizers should have match balls. We have had competitions where organizers did not have a single match ball and sometimes matches were abandoned due to lack of proper match balls. That stops now!”

The prestigious trophy up for grabs-The Castel Challenge Cup

“We would like to thank Castel Malawi for seeing value in the game and the FAM leadership. When we reached out to them at the beginning of the year on the sponsorship hike, they did not hesitate to act despite having a contract for the next two seasons. We don’t take that for granted and as FAM we commit to continue giving them value,” said Haiya. 

Haiya further said he expects great competition this year due to sponsorship hike.

During the official kickoff of the Castel Challenge Cup, Blue Eagles started the competition on a positive note by defeating Namitete Zitha 2-0 in a regional preliminary phase match.

While the two Central Region sides clashed to mark the official launch, some games were also being played in the Northern and Southern Regions. 

Castel Challenge Cup is the most expensive competition in the country with champions expected to pocket K55 million this year.

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