Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says Malawi’s failure to send the Under-17 national football team to Region V Games in Angola next month, is missed opportunity for the team that won bronze recently at Cosafa Cup.
But Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) executive secretary George Jana yesterday said in an interview that government has no funds to cater for team events at the Games, formerly Zone VI Games, scheduled for December 9 to 19.
“Basically, it is because of the costs. It is not easy to fly a team to Angola, so we would rather take individual sports codes such as athletics, judo, boxing and lawn tennis and possibly win more medals,” he said.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the development is a big blow to the Junior Flames, who have been idle since returning from the Cosafa Cup held in Mauritius in July.
Six nations that took part at the Cosafa Cup—Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa—will send their teams to the Region 5 Games.
“It’s a missed opportunity for Malawi. Region V is the responsibility of Malawi Government. We rely on their funding to participate in such competitions,” he said.
Nyamilandu said in the meantime, there are no plans for the team to participate in any tournament.
“Our plan is based on participating in Cosafa junior competitions in the absence of sponsorship or funding [from government],” he said.
Netball Association of Malawi president Rosy Chinunda said they were also losing out by failing to send a team to Region V Games.
“It’s the same with netball. This is a big blow,” she said.
General team manager Ruth Mzengo said they wished they could include netball and football in the squad.
“We wish we had them, more especially netball because we are assured that they could have won at least a medal in that discipline,” she said. n