Malawi’s Sports Minister Enock Chihana on Friday lambasted sports bodies, the media and clubs to desist from blame-game on the stagnation of football in the country.
He said this at a TNM Super League prize presentation ceremony.
Chihana has since called on an all inclusive national conference to help find solutions to the problem faced by the sport in the country.
He said already, President Joyce Banda’s government has spent K150 million (about $384 615) towards the Flames and invested K60 million in netball. He said while they have seen the fruits in netball, there was nothing to show off on the part of the Flames.
“What I have observed [is] that there is so much blame-game among the various football stakeholders in the country for the failure of the national football team. Some place the blame on me as minister, some on Football Association of Malawi (FAM), and some on players. It’s not a healthy situation,” he said, drawing applause from the packed Presidential Conference Centre.
“What we need to do is find solutions to the problem. I am calling on a national conference and all stakeholders should be involved. Government is ready to finance the conference.
“If the problem is the minister then he should resign, if it is the PS then they should be redeployed and if it is FAM then let us call for early elections,” said Chihana.
He said the conference should include former national team players, media, FAM, Sulom, soccer fans and government officials.
Chihana said much as they would love to assist the Flames, there is a limit to what government can do as their responsibility is to formulate policy for sports development and not run the day-to-day activities of sports.
He said the objective of the meeting is to form a blueprint which will have lasting solutions to the challenges the game is facing.
The minister also cri-ticised clubs, especially Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers for failing to construct stadiums of their own.
“They are very old teams with impressive success on the field, but all this time they never had a stadium. They have had different managements, but have failed.
“They (Bullets and Wanderers) cling to Kamuzu Stadium which is government property. [And] when they get little from the gate collections, they complain as if they own it. Build your own stadiums and you will not complain of gate revenues,” he said.