Big Bullets have defied financial problems choking domestic football by announcing that they will beat November 30 2014 deadline and register for the 2015 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Cup.
While the Flames are unable to source K62 million (US$133 333) to fulfil their engagements, Bullets chairperson Kondie Msungama on Tuesday insisted that their success would appeal to the corporate world and that the national team’s dip in form is the major reason for the dry sponsorship.
Bullets qualify for the CAF Cup by virtue of their being the 2014 Carlsberg Cup winners, whereas Super League defending champions Silver Strikers can, despite not showing interest yet, also register for CAF Champions League. If the league was decided, the new champions could have qualified. Bullets top the league with three games to go.
“We are working around a budget of K100 million (US$215 054) and in phases. We believe companies would want to be associated with a successful team and government would support a club that is flying the country’s flag. We have asked our general secretary to do the ground work by contacting CAF,” explained Msungama, adding that their CAF ambitions were based on the prospect of winning the Super League.
Msungama was vice-treasurer when Bullets consumed K70 million-Bakili Muluzi funding to become the first Malawian club to scale CAF Champions League group stages when in 2004 they saw off Orlando Pirates (South Africa), SC Villa (Uganda) and Zanaco (Zambia). Players, namely James Chilapondwa, Chiku Kanyenda, Fischer Kondowe, Jimmy Zakazaka and Swadick Sanudi are the survivors from the class of 2004.
Bullets general secretary, Harold Fote, told The Nation on Saturday that they had drafted a budget, which is in the ranges of K70 million to K100 million, for the CAF assignments: “So far proposals have been drafted and submitted to prospective sponsors. We are sure that we will make it.”
Malawi is among few Southern African countries whose teams do not participate in CAF cups. The only challenge is that Bullets must meet club licensing conditions of having youth football programme, a home ground, a secretariat and full-time staff.
However, FAM competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka, when contacted on Tuesday and Wednesday, clarified that with the league ending in December, Bullets could, using their status as 2014 Carlsberg Cup kings, only qualify for the Confederations Cup. He confirmed that CAF had written FAM over the registration deadline.
“CAF embarked on project of licensing clubs across the continent, but no team in Malawi is licensed. So, if teams show interest to take part in the competitions, they will have to put in place club licensing structures then a CAF inspector will come to examine the structures and make a recommendation on whether the club satisfies the needs of the process to be allowed to play in the two competitions,” Zakazaka explained.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda, while welcoming the team’s CAF ambition on Tuesday, “urged them to plan properly technically, financially and administratively. This will help to gain international exposure [that will be] good for national team.”