Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive committee has resolved to withdraw the Flames from the 2023 Championship of African Nations (Chan) and Cosafa Cup if its annual subvention from government will not be enough.
Instead, the association has only committed the Flames’ participation in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said in an interview on Tuesday that the resolution was made based on recent past allocations.
He said: “In the recent past, our allocation has mostly been K300 million save for last year when we got K210 million because the financial year was reduced to nine months.
“The challenge we have is that up to now, Sports Council [Malawi National Council of Sports] has not communicated on how much we will get.
“We are in the dark and under such circumstances, it is difficult to plan for the competitions.
“That aside, assuming that we will be allocated K300 million, then we’ll have to proceed with the resolution to withdraw because it won’t be enough unless there’s windfall or sponsorship from elsewhere.”
Nyamilandu also said with the Chan draw set for tomorrow, FAM is facing a race against time to communicate its withdrawal due to delayed communication from Sports Council.
Said the FAM president: “Nevertheless, it’s highly unlikely that we will take part. We have to make sacrifices and concentrate on Afcon.
“Competitions are very demanding financially and we wouldn’t want to burn our fingers as we did prior to the Afcon finals. We learnt the hard way.”
Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa on Tuesday said the meeting to allocate funding to associations was held on Monday, but he was yet to get the details.
“But what I can say is that FAM are looking for K2.5 billion when we only have K2.1 billion for all associations and we need to strike a balance,” he said.
Ntulumbwa cited netball, chess, hockey and cricket as associations that have international engagements requiring funding.
In March, FAM announced that Malawi will not participate in youth competitions lined up in the 2022 Cosafa calendar due to financial constraints.
Instead, Nyamilandu then said Malawi would only participate in 2023 Afcon, 2023 Chan, Cosafa Cup, Cosafa Women’s Championship and Cosafa Beach Soccer tournaments.
Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa), of which Nyamilandu is an executive member, on Monday announced that the Cosafa Cup will be held in the South African coastal city of Durban from July 5 to 17.
However, football analyst Charles Nyirenda said FAM needs to make such decisions after consulting government.
He said: “Such decisions would be better made after holding talks with government. Otherwise, it may appear as if FAM is blackmailing the Tonse Alliance administration through the media. They need to exercise caution.”