FAM has said district teams will not take part in this year’s Presidential Football Cup due to meagre resources available.
Renowned soccer commentator Charles Nyirenda has since suggested the abandonment of the whole exercise, saying under the circumstances, the objective is being defeated.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) was advised by the Malawi National Council of Sports to come up with a format that would suit the remaining K38 million (US$93 366) for the tournament after K22 million (US$54 054) was diverted towards the costs of Flames’ 2014 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria’s Super Eagles last year.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said the money available can only cater for regional and national competitions.
“So, we’ll come up with a format that will start at regional and then proceed to national level,” said Nyamilandu.
Asked if this does not defeat the objective of the tournament, which is to identify and develop talent from the grass roots, Nyamilandu said: “Precisely, but then practically it would be impossible to incorporate the districts because even with the K60 million, we used to top up in excess of K10 million to run the competition effectively.”
But Sports Council executive secretary George Jana said FAM has not informed them about their plans.
“[But] what they must remember is that they made a commitment that they would still run the tournament with or without the amount and we have a letter to that effect,” said Jana.
Nyirenda, himself a former FAM chief executive officer said: “In real terms, the amount that we started with in 2009 was K60 million and with the inflation and other factors, it has not been able to achieve the goals and it has shrinked. It is like forcing matters and, therefore, for now, it would be wise just discontinue the tournament.”
The tournament is already two weeks behind schedule and there are fears that it may clash with the Super League and other tournaments.