Flames need over K1 billion for Afcon finals, World Cup qualifiers

Malawi Flames, Chakwera

Football Association of Malawi has disclosed about K1.1 billion will be needed for the Malawi senior national football team to prepare and participate at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and World Cup qualifiers.

Malawi qualified for the Afcon finals in Cameroon on Monday this week after beating Uganda 1-0 in their final match to finish second of Group B with 10 points behind Burkina Faso.

The team will also play in the World Cup qualifiers starting June in the same group with Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Cameroon.

Chakwera
Chakwera greets Nyamilandu

Speaking during a luncheon hosted by President Lazarus Chakwera at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Thursday, FAM president, Walter Nyamilandu said he was looking forward to Government's continued support to ensure the team achieves what it has started. 

Nyamilandu disclosed that the team will need about K575 million for the AFCON finals, while the World Cup qualifying campaign needs about K621 million.

"At FAM, we greatly appreciate the support the Government gives us. That is why we are also confident that your Government will continue with the support as we look forward to start preparations for the Afcon finals set for January next year as well as the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which start in June this year. Your Excellency, this qualification has shown us that we can achieve a lot in international football. We have the desire to do so. But we also need requisite investment in the game. 

Chakwera
Chakwera: Congratulations. Photos by Govati Nyirenda, State House

"Today, we are talking about qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations. Our desire at FAM is to build on this momentum and make our participation at the Afcon finals a routine. But for us to achieve this, we need more funding. Throughout the years, funding has been our major setback. For instance, we are allocated K300 million every year, through the general sports allocation, against a budget that is in excess of K1 billion.  

"Your Excellency, we believe in you. We believe that you will support us to transform football in Malawi. Our football has suffered because of abandonment of a systematic integration and player development pathway. We believe we can transform football in Malawi if we change the funding strategy," he said. 

John Banda
Appealed for an improvement in the welfare of players: Banda

Nyamilandu, insisted on his proposal of direct football funding from the Parliament vote allocation instead of going through the Sports Council. 

The proposal was turned down two years ago by the previous administration.

Before Nyamilandu, Flames captain, John Banda asked the President to consider the welfare of the players, including houses and promotions for those working in the civil service like police officers and soldiers.

President Chakwera then congratulated the team and assured them of support.

He said what the team has achieved is worth commending. He then urged them to maintain the spirit so that teams at the AFCON should not have an easy ride. 

The president then congratulated coach Meck Mwase for steering the team to a third Afcon finals after Kinnah Phiri in 2010, and Henry Moyo in 1984.