LILONGWE--The Standard Bank football cup 2012 edition has been officially launched in the capital city, Lilongwe with the bank announcing a 33 percent increase in the sponsorship money from K15 million to K20 million Kwacha.
The launching ceremony started with a luncheon at Standard Bank’s head office in Lilongwe Old Town, where the bank announced the sponsorship increase.
Gracing the occasion at the bank’s head office were officials from Football Association of Malawi (Fam), Super League of Malawi (Sulom), Standard Bank and Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, amongst others.
Guest of Honour Alex Mseka, who represented Sports Minister Enock Chihana and Fam president Walter Nyamilandu did not hide their excitement at receiving the news of the sponsorship increase as they took turns thanking the bank for the sportsmanship gesture.
“We are very excited and indebted to the bank for increasing the sponsorship. Not many companies are willing to venture into sports sponsorship let alone increase perks for their employees in the face of devaluation but standard bank has defied the odds by increasing the sponsorship money 33 percent. We do not take this kind gesture for granted,” said Nyamilandu.
From the bank’s head office, the fun moved to Silver Stadium, where an army helicopter landed with the cup. Standard Bank’s marketing manager Linda Kachingwe-Sisya and chairman of the competition’s organizing committee alighted from the helicopter with the trophy before presenting it to Nyamilandu and a Standard Bank official, who in turn presented the glittering cup to Mseka.
At the stadium, fans were also entertained to a live band performance by the Black Missionaries alias the Blacks and the climax of it all was a football match involving defending champions Blue Eagles and Super League champions Silver Strikers.
The cops arrested the bankers right at their backyard through a John Banda 67th minute strike. The Flames international connected first time a cross from Ben Hojani, beating goalkeeper Amadu Ali, who had a very busy afternoon.
Before the goal, Eagles were reduced to 10 men after their Patrick Masanjala was given marching orders after committing a second bookable offence.
One of Silver’s caretaker coaches Hellings Mwakasugula conceded defeat, saying Eagles played better than his side: “Our morale is still down after last week’s losses in Zomba and Blantyre but I must congratulate Blue Eagles for playing well. They were the better side and deserved the victory,” said Mwakasungula.
Eagles coach Deklerk Msakakuona, whose side pocketed K600,000 for winning, praised his charges for working hard: “It just team work and hard work that have won us the game. We worked hard from the beginning up to the end,” he said.
----©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.