French beverage company, Castel Group, which acquired a controlling stake in Carlsberg Malawi Limited last year, has reportedly guaranteed continued sponsorship of Carlsberg Cup.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Head of Competitions Sub Committee, Jabbar Alide, confirmed that Castel have also hiked the sponsorship of the cup, whose holders are Nyasa Big Bullets.

“I would like to confirm that the changing hands of Carlsberg have not affected the cup. Castel have confirmed sponsorship of the competition this year.

They have further raised the total sponsorship package to K45 million, up from K40 million last year,” Alide said in a written response.

Castel official, Twikale Chirwa, had not responded to written questions as we went to press.

Bullets won the cup last season after seeing off rivals, Be Forward Wanderers, 4-3 on postmatch penalties, following a 2-2 draw in regulation time at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

The cup is synonymous with Bullets assistant Coach Elia Kananji, who has won it for an unprecedented fourth consecutive times, including with Wanderers.

Kananji won the cup with Bullets in 2014 then with Wanderers in 2015 and 2016, before returning to the People’s Team and claim it last season.

The youthful coach last Friday said he was determined to extend his amazing cup run to five in a row.

“We welcome the development [that the cup will be back]. If cup competitions decrease football also goes down. If there is an assurance that the cup is back this year, it makes planning easier for us the coaches,” Kananji said.

Fam interim Competitions Manager, Casper Jangale, though not confirming Castel’s assurance of continued sponsorship, Friday said they had, for planning purposes, included Carlsberg Cup on the 2018 calendar of events.

Apart from Carlsberg, teams also fight for honours in TNM Super League, Fisd Challenge
Cup and Airtel Top 8 Cup.

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