The Minister of Youth Development and Sports Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda pledged government’s continued support for the development of Football in the country.
The minister said this during the meeting with the Football Association of Malawi at Mpira Village in Blantyre on Thursday.
Irononically, the meeting with FAM came after the association hinted at seeking the minister’s intervention on funding to enable the Flames participate in the 2022 African Nations Championship (Chan).
Last week, FAM announced its intention not to take part in the tournament due to inadequate funding.
However, Banda told the football governing body that the government is zealous to see national teams making it to different international tournaments, hence it’s commitment to support Sports in the country.
“As government, we know that it us our responsibility to ensure that all sporting disciplines have the capacity to participate in international tournaments; so we will do everything we can to see them there.”
Band said with good relationship between ministry, Malawi National Council of Sports and FAM everything is possible.
“We know that Fam has challenges in ensuring that the national teams participate in international tournaments, but we are here to make the difference and I believe that with good relationship between Ministry, Malawi National Council of Sports and Fam, there is no way we can fail,” said Banda
According to Chimwendo Banda, the government was proud of Flames’ performance in the last Afcon as they reached the round of 16.
The minister added that the ministry is planning to have a Sports Indaba in August this year where CEOs of Statutory Corporations, banks and mobile companies will also invited to lobby for possible support of Sports in Malawi.
He has since assured the Association that he will lobby the government to finance the Flames in the 2022 international assignment like CHAN, Cosafa and Afcon.
The minister has advised FAM to submit a budget to be presented to the ministry of finance next week.
Taking his turn, FAM President Walter Nyamilandu hailed government for it’s commitment in supporting football in the country.
“We took the minister through our budget, and he has assured us that he is going to looby government and mobilise corporate Suppo, so we are not withdrawing from any tournament this year.
“The Sports Indaba is a welcoming initiative for the ministry because there is sponsorship apathy in the country. The Indaba will therefore give us an opportunity to seek ourselves and the corporate world will also have a chance to show us how far they can go in sponsoring Sports in the country.
“As Association, we try our best but the demand is huge now and because we can’t manage to give up on the junior teams, we need support that we sustain all the teams as we look at the government of players from the grassroot level because we believe that we need these junior national teams if we are to keep a strong senior national team. We are happy that the minister has appreciated that the budgetary supper that we get is not enough and that the government is going to do something for the national team,” said Nyamilandu.
The FAM president said they face a tall order as the K300 million allocation they usually get is not even sufficient for the Afcon qualifiers.
FAM submitted a K2.5 billion budget proposal to Sports Council, but Ntulumbwa said the allocation they got for all associations is K2.1 billion.