President Lazarus Chakwera has hailed the performance of the Malawi National Women’s Football Team at the just-ended Cosafa Women’s Championship in South Africa.
The President said this when he hosted the team at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe yesterday to salute the Scorchers for defying the odds to reach the final of the regional showpiece for the first time. The team lost 1-0 to Tanzania’s Twiga Stars.
Chakwera said he believes the team has great potential to win trophies.
He said: “I am very happy that Malawi National Women’s Football Team, the Scorchers, have brought the nation glory and pride by reaching the final of the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Championship.
“It is clear that you dedicated yourselves and fought hard for Malawi.”
The President said the results and achievement were a clear sign of unity and sense of common purpose of playing to win.
“Malawi needs unity, patriotism and a common purpose as displayed by the Scorchers. We must, therefore, emulate the unity and team work they displayed that enabled a good result.
“You displayed great levels of fighting spirit. I will ensure that government gives the Scorchers the necessary support.
“As you go into camp to prepare for CAF games, I urge you to continue working hard to achieve better results. I call on the private sector to team up with government to promote sports.”
The Scorchers defied all odds to beat defending champions South Africa 3-2 in the semi-final.
It was the first time that Banyana Banyana failed to qualify for the final of the regional championship, having won seven of the previous eight titles.
The feat against South Africa did not escape the attention of State House and the President immediately issued a congratulatory message to the girls.
Yesterday, the players received K150 000 each while officials got K200 000 each as transport reimbursement.
Scorchers captain Madyina Ngulube concurred with Chakwera that with good support and preparations, it is possible to win regional and continental tournaments.
She said: “I have to thank you for hosting us. This gives us great motivation. It is a great honour and an inspiration to achieve more and do the country proud.
“But Mr. President, we need your support in relation to players’ welfare and also if we could be in line for jobs as civil servants depending on our professional qualifications.”
She then went on to present a silver medal to the President.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama also commended the team for performing beyond expectations and reiterated government’s commitment to promoting women’s football.
He said: “Like I always say, government is very much committed and will do its best. But we are asking the corporate world to come in and support the team financially and also in kind.
“Let’s appreciate the good efforts shown by our women’s national team.”