Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers have assured their fans that they have enough resources to participate in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) club tournaments.
Bullets have joined the Champions League and Silver, the Confederation Cup, against the background that Malawian clubs have been struggling to fulfil fixtures because of financial problems.
Bullets will face GOR Mahia of Kenya while Silver date AO CMS from Gabon following the official draw released on Friday by CAF.
Bullets start at home while Silver are starting away the first legs scheduled for November 27/28, with return legs set for February 4/5.
Contacted to comment on the official draw, Silver general secretary Lawrence Yobe said they would meet tomorrow to plan for the competition.
“It is good that the official draw is out. All in all, we cannot rush to comment. We are meeting Monday to do the planning and budgeting,” he said.
He added: “I can assure our fans that everything is in place pertaining to our CAF participation. We have lined up three international friendly games ahead of the competition.”
Yobe said their sponsor Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) gave them the go ahead to participate in the tournament.
“Our sponsor agreed to fund the team in the Confederation Cup. I am comfortable to tell you that we can travel anywhere in Africa to fulfil our fixtures,” he said.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya said everything is in place.
“We have budgeted K50 million for their games against the Kenyan side and K15 million for friendlies in Tanzania next week before meeting the Kenyans in our CAF game. Tanzania is bordering Kenya so the friendly against them will give us a very good yardstick,” he said.
Our findings shows that the current cheapest flight charges from Malawi to any African country ranges from K250 000 for nearby country to K1.2 million for far away country like Tunisia per head.
This translate to K7.5million for the entourage of 30 people on nearby country such as South Africa to K36 million for same number of people for faraway country just only for air tickets.
Although such are the expected expenditures, Bullets and Silver officials insisted that they have the financial muscle for the CAF tournament.
Last year, Be Forward Wanderers and Masters Security FC represented Malawi in the competitions.
Masters Security are reported to have spent close to K72 million in their home- and-away fixtures against Petro de Luanda of Angola while Wanderers spent around K60 million in their home-and-away encounters against AS Vita of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Nomads also had hiccups to register players, let alone, to raise funds for the continental showpiece.
They appealled to supporters to contribute, but the funds collected were lower against the estimated expenditure. Reports indicated that they were about to withdraw from the tournament a thing that attracts a fine.
Soccer analyst Peterkins Kayira said teams should first have sound financing programme before considering of participating in CAF.
He said Football Association of Malawi (FAM) should ensure that teams have financial backing before registering for the tournaments.
“It’s sad that teams can register for CAF without knowing how they will fund their operations. FAM should at all times guard against this,” said Kayira.
On his part, FAM licensing and compliance manager Casper Jangale said Bullets and Silver have been asked to deposit a surety of K15 million each to FAM to prove their financial soundness.
“The teams have worked had to meet the requirements. They have managed to deposit K15 million on sureties that guarantee their financial capacity to participate in these international tournaments,” he said.
Silver last participated in CAF competition in 1993 when they were knocked out by Arsenal of Lesotho in Africa Cup Winners Cup.
Bullets last participated in CAF competitions in 2015 when they were eliminated by Sudan’s Al-Hilal in the first round after beating Fomboni of Comoros in the preliminary round.