Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says the portion from Fifa’s funding that is allocated to the senior national team is not enough to meet the Flames financial demands.
FAM general secretary (GS) Alfred Gunda was responding to a question on why the association still seeks funding from government towards the Flames when Fifa allocates $1 million (about K733 million) to FAM annually for its running and operational costs which also includes the national team.
Said Gunda on Thursday: “The portion that goes towards the national team is much on the lower side and only caters for travel expenses.
“The team’s preparations and allowances are purely our responsibility and that is why we still seek government’s funding for the senior national team.”
The FAM GS also said government is aware that they get funding from Fifa.
“It is not a secret, they know what we get from Fifa and the purposes of the funding. For example, a trip to Morocco costs us about K100 million and when you look at the portion allocated to the national team from Fifa funding then you come to appreciate the situation.”
Gunda said Fifa’s funding did not initially include the senior national team portion.
“The bulk of the funding from Fifa goes towards projects and developmental activities such as junior national teams, grass roots, refereeing, coaching, administration and competitions.
“The reason why Fifa introduced the national team portion was because most of the developing countries were diverting the funds towards the national team at the expense of developmental teams in this case the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 national teams.
“In fact, we have been in such situations before whereby we have had to forego junior competitions to prioritise the Flames. So, when Fifa evaluated the support they introduced a portion for the senior national teams” he said.
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) executive secretary George Jana confirmed Gunda’s claims that the funding from Fifa which goes towards the senior national team is not enough.
“We are aware of that, in fact there are programmes that they [FAM] have carried out without seeking government funding.
“It’s only that the demands are just too high…they are out of this world because they [FAM] have the junior teams, beach soccer and women national teams as well,” he said.
Before the interview with Gunda, a football follower Kelvin Chifunda wondered why FAM seeks government funding for the Flames when funding from Fifa also includes the national team.
Fifa Council has since approved revised football development funding for the 2019-2022 cycle.
The world football governing body has increased the funding by $1 million (K733 million) from $5 million (about K3.7 billion) to $6 million (about K4.4 billion) to each of its member associations.
The 211 members get the grants under the Fifa Forward Development Programme over a period of four years.
Fifa conditions require that the FAs can use up to $1 million per year for their running and operational costs that include governance, structure and administration, the national teams, domestic competitions, permanent administrative and technical staff, financial management (audits), website and other communication platforms, training for key football.
Half of the funds ($500 000), will only be allocated if the member implements or provides at least eight of the 10 essential elements, which include employing a secretary-general and a technical director, organises a juniors, women or men’s league, has a clear strategy for the promotion and development of women’s and grassroots football, promotion and development of refereeing and if the member runs an initiative or project related to integrity or good governance.
Reacting to the development, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu who is also a Fifa Council member, said the increase is commendable and necessary to cope with the increase in demand towards administrative and technical activities.