Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) says it is high time government considered investing resources channelled to football to other disciplines based on the Flames’ recent struggles.
Basmal general secretary Peter Gomani said in an interview that despite enjoying the lion’s share of annual subventions in sports, the Malawi National Football Team continues to disappoint.
He said this following the Flames’ 0-4 loss to Cameroon in a 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifier in South Africa on Saturday.
Said Gomani: “This was their [Flames] third straight loss and yet government continues to pump in millions at the expense of other sports codes that have the potential to do better and put the country on the map.
“Football has failed us and it is high time other sporting disciplines got equal support from government.
“Basketball is one of the sporting disciplines that has the potential to grow.”
He said their allocation from government for the current financial year was K4 million compared to K200 million allocated to FAM.
However, Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama defended the gap, saying it depends on activities.
He said: “What football gets is just a fraction of the budget they present in accordance with their annual activities which usually are in the excess of K1.5 billion.
“The other thing is that most of the other associations are disorganised and cannot be compared to FAM [Football Association of Malawi].
“The way some of them operate is pathetic. They do not have offices and even fail to provide Sports Council with activity plans and financial reports.”
Msungama said in contrast, FAM has a proper set-up and is able to generate funds on its own “and what they get from government is just to complement their budget”.
He said as government they do not favour any sports discipline.
“That is why I made it clear upon being appointed minister that I am not a minister of football or netball, but sports,” said Msungama.
On his part, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said: “It is unfortunate that they [Basmal] are looking at it that way. There is no need to generalise the situation. The team has qualified for Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] which is a major tournament.
“FAM complements government funding by generating its own income to run the national teams.
“Just last year alone, FAM pumped in over K300 million towards the Flames to ensure that we qualified for Afcon finals.”