The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has called off a football academy project that was pledged by American pop star Madonna.
During her visit to Malawi three years ago, the pop star promised that she would fulfil the dream of her Malawian adopted son David Banda to set up a football academy to build a strong Malawi national football team.
After unveiling the plans, Madonna’s team was in contact with FAM officials and agreed that the academy would be constructed in Lilongwe.
The project appeared to be heading towards fruition at the end of 2018 when Madonna’s team sent designs for the purported project and FAM responded positively by approving and providing land in Lilongwe.
But FAM president Walter Nyamilandu told Nation on Sunday this week that they gave up on as Madonna has been ignoring their enquries on the project.
He said FAM has been following up on the project by e-mailing Madonna through her representatives, but to no avail.
“What I can say is that the idea of that project was called off,” said Nyamilandu.
David was quoted by American news agency the Associated Press in 2018 as having said that he was hopefull that the academy would help raise the football profile of his country of birth.
“We will start slow and grow bigger, enter African cups and hopefully grow as big as we can be,” said the 15-year-old, whose ambition is to be a professional football player and is currently at Portuguese club Benfica.
Meanwhile, football analyst George Kaudza-Masina has said FAM cannot take any other action against Madonna because the pledge was not formally agreed.
“A mere pledge without a formal written agreement can be difficult to enforce. A donor cannot be pushed, but it could have been good for Madonna to come in the open on her stand,” he said.