Former cabinet minister Peter Mutharika has reduced women’s football annual sponsorship from K2.3 million to K1 million each for the country’s Southern, Central and Northern regions.
National Women’s Football League vice-chairperson Siveria Chalira said on Thursday teams would also not receive a set of uniform as it was the case last year.
Chalira described the situation as worrisome in the face of the rising cost of living following the devaluation of the local currency.
“Everything has been finalised for Professor Arthur Mutharika Women’s Football League to kick off on November 10,” Chalira said.
“But they have reduced the sponsorship to K1 million per region and they will not provide uniforms.”
She said Ben Phiri, personal assistant to Mutharika, did not give reasons for the reduction of the sponsorship which was pegged at K2.3 million annually for each region for three years.
The reduction would have a negative impact on the operations of both the league and teams, she said.
“This will affect teams considering that the devaluation of the Kwacha has made life to be hard,” she said.
“For example, we used to pay K2,400 to referees but now they are not willing to take it.”
But she said the reduction of the sponsorship will not affect the prize money with K300,000 for the champions, K150,000 for the runners-up, K80,000 for the third placed team and K40,000 for the fourth team.
But Phiri said there was a misunderstanding on the sponsorship agreement.
“The sponsorship on the women’s football has been K1 million but last year we decided to [dress] them,” Phiri said.
“Apart from the uniform nothing has changed; the prizes have been the same.”
Mutharika, who is brother to former president late Bingu Wa Mutharika, also sponsors Southern Region Football League (SFRL) at K5 million.
However, the sponsorship to SRFL has not been reduced.