Flames resource mobilisation task force is targeting to raise K75 million from the Kuyipatsa Moto Flames VVIP Fundraising Dinner which President Lazarus Chakwera will host at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
Acting presidential press secretary Anthony Kasunda and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola yesterday confirmed that the President will host the VVIP dinner on November 27 to raise funds towards the Malawi National Football Team’s preparations and participation at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Said Kasunda yesterday: “Yes, we can indeed confirm that the President will host a fundraising dinner for the Malawi National Football Team following a request from FAM.
“As a champion of sports in this country, His Excellency feels honoured to be part of this noble cause of raising funds to enable the Flames prepare and participate at Afcon.
“The President is calling on all Malawians of goodwill to support this initiative because the players will be flying the country’s flag on the continental stage and their success will be a national pride.”
On his part, Matola said: “We are grateful to the State President for accepting our request and we are upbeat of surpassing the K75 million target because as soon as we made the announcement, companies started coming in to support the cause.”
He, however, admitted that the Flames’ recent poor results that have seen them lose four 2022 World Cup qualifiers on the trot and five overall, could somehow affect the fundraising initiative.
Said Matola: “Of course, that cannot be ruled out. It is unfortunate that things turned out that way and we are hoping that the players and technical staff realise the huge responsibility on their shoulders.
“That said, we cannot abandon the team. They might not have done well in World Cup qualifiers, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that they qualified for Afcon which is no mean feat considering that most of the giants from southern Africa failed.
“Things are not looking rosy, but we cannot discard them. They are our team.”
The VVIP dinner will be the third fundraising drive after the Kuyipatsa Moto Flames golf tournament held in Lilongwe where Vice-President Saulos Chilima was the guest of honour. There is also a crowd funding initiative.
Matola said so far from the K1.5 billion projected budget, over K1.1 billion has been raised, leaving them with a shortfall of about K484 million.
He said government committed K700 million of which K401 million has already been released while the fundraising golf tournament raised K72 million. The team’s $100 000 (about K83 million) overseas camping costs will also be footed by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation.
Said Matola: “Airtel Malawi plc gave us K25 million, but from that, K2.5 million went towards their golf tournament pledge which was already accounted for.
“As FAM, we have so far pumped in about K106 million from our travel subsidy which we get from Fifa and CAF [Confederation of African Football]. We also have about K120 million from FDH Bank plc, who are Flames’ official sponsors.”
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers were incorporated in the budget as part of the Afcon finals preparations because they fell within that window.
He said: “You will recall that the World Cup qualifiers were supposed to have been played earlier, but were shifted to between September and November which was the window period for Afcon preparations.”