FAM Charity Shield is an annual football Competition introduced in 2016 and it signals the kick off of the football calendar in Malawi.
The Charity Shield is a flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program for FAM which aims to engage, mobilize and inspire football fans, stakeholders and the public towards a charitable cause of national significance.
The Shield is a two-day event which involves four teams who emerged champions in the previous season’s elite competitions.
Ecobank Joins the Party
On 20th March 2019, FAM signed sponsorship deal with Ecobank Malawi Ltd as the first ever official sponsor of the Charity Shield.
The Pan African bank pumped in K12 million to earn full naming rights of the event, The ECOBANK CHARITY SHIELD.
This was a big boost to the organisation of the 2019 event as the sustainability and success of the event hinged on the prospects of securing a sponsor.
The main objective of the 2019 Ecobank Charity Shield was to play an advocacy role by mobilizing and engaging football fans and the public to take DECISIVE ACTION against brutal killings, abductions, discriminations and persecutions of people with albinism in Malawi, under the theme One Love – Stop the Killings!
FAM aimed at using the unifying power of football to stress and spread the message that as Malawians we are all one and must love one another.
FAM together with Ecobank as the Sponsor, worked very closely with Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) in order to achieve the set objective.
2019 Ecobank Charity Shield took place at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March and involved; Be Forward Wanderers as FISD Challenge Cup winners, Blue Eagles as Airtel Top 8 title holders, Masters Security Services as Carlsberg Cup champions and Nyasa Big Bullets who are TNM Super League champions as well as the Charity Shield three-time winners and defending champions.
The participating teams signed contracts with FAM committing to taking part in the event and forfeiting their gate share for Charity.
In the semifinal on Day 1 Be Forward Wanderers beat Masters 4-0 while Nyasa Big Bullets beat Blue Eagles 2-1. On the last day Masters Security won the third place play-offs after edging Blue Eagles 5-3 on post- match penalties while Bullets beat rivals Be Forward Wanderers 1-0 to retain the Shield title for a fourth consecutive time. Hearty congratulations to Nyasa Big Bullets!
FAM engaged NITEL to supply tickets for the two – day event. The tickets were sold in advance through designated outlets including Ecobank branches in Limbe, Ginnery Corner and Blantyre.
FAM also sold broadcasting rights to four media houses that broadcast the two-day event Live. In summary total Revenue for the event stands at K47.5 million comprising the following:
i. Gate Revenues – K33.7 million
ii. Broadcasting Rights – K1.8 million
iii. Ecobank Sponsorship – K12 million
Total expenditure for the event is at K34.5 million broken down as follows: i. Team Participation fees at K 4 million each – K 16 million
ii. Kamuzu Stadium Ground Levy – K 2.5 million
iii. Equipment (team uniforms, shield and medals) – K3.6 million
iv. Direct General Event Organization expenses – K 11.7 million
From the figures above the net revenue from the event stands at K13 million and is being channeled towards the event’s main charitable cause as follows
i. K9 million is directly allocated to APAM through procurement of items of their need as well as cash payment
ii. Each of the four participating teams has been allocated K1 million to make a donation of their choice towards persons with albinism
FAM is satisfied with the outcome of 2019 Ecobank Charity Shield. We comfortably tag it as the best ever. The association managed to achieve its main objective of mobilizing and engaging football fans and the public to take DECISIVE ACTION against brutal killings, abductions, discrimination and persecution of people with albinism in Malawi.
In addition to playing the above advocacy role FAM with support from Ecobank was able to mobilize resources which will go a long way to mitigate some of the challenges that people with albinism face in this country.
Since the shield was officially unveiled there was flooding of messages about the theme on all media platforms helping to further escalate the advocacy for eradication of hatred and violence against people with albinism.
For the first time the Shield was televised live on Mibawa television and Social media for the whole duration of two days. On top of that three radio stations with national coverage also broadcast the event live helping spread the messages to millions of people in Malawi and across the borders. We commend the media for the critical role played in publicizing this initiative to the whole nation.
We would like to applaud our sponsors Ecobank who did not only give out the K12 million but also actively invested in promoting the event through numerous themed promotional materials which included t-shirts, caps, vuvuzelas, perimeter banners, social and print media adverts which will go a long way to continue spreading the message beyond the two days.
The message was sent, and it was well received with overwhelming response. It was amazing to see Malawians from all walks of life supporting this noble cause. The huge turn-out of people at the stadium on both days shows how Malawians embraced the cause.
We also witnessed the captains of the four teams who are role models to many making public statement condemning violence and hatred towards people with albinism. During all the four matches the players, officials and fans for one moment forgot their rivalry and came together to join hands during the Piece and Love Pre-Kick off Photos.
We witnessed strong emotions as the Kamuzu Stadium fell dead silent on four occasions during moments of silence in remembering people with albinism who were brutally murdered.
To cup it all the event raised K13 million which is at the disposal of people with albinism in Malawi.
Vote of thanks
We would like to thank our Sponsors ECOBANK Malawi Limited for their sponsorship package which went a long way to meet the demands of organizing the event. They were not just sponsors but true partners as they actively got hands on in helping achieve the set objectives.
We are grateful to our media partners for publicizing this great initiative. We owe all the success to you. Appreciation should go to IntoSports and NITEL for the donations and contributions to this great and noble cause.
Many thanks to APAM for the active participation, collaboration, guidance, insights and contributions made to the success of the event; All the service providers including the Malawi Police Services, Red Cross, Blantyre District Health Office, Ichocho Maximum Security, Stewards and Kamuzu Stadium management deserve special recognition for their various roles played to the overall success of the event.
The four teams namely; Be Forward Wanderers, Blue Eagles, Masters Security and Nyasa Big Bullets should get a lot of credit for the beautiful football displayed and making the 2019 Ecobank Charity Shield most successful and violence free event.
ONE LOVE – STOP THE KILLINGS! Issued on this day of April 3, 2019 – Blantyre. Alfred Gunda GENERAL SECRETARY