FAM and the Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) have welcomed CAF’s move to introduce a Pan-African School Football Championship
Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe stated that the inter-school competition, which was launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last week, is a pilot project which will lead to the establishment of a fully-fledged inter-school competition in the six African zones, resulting in a Pan-African school’s championship final.
He also said that one of the best investments in the future and success of African football is to invest in schools
football and the building of youth football academies for boys and girls.
In an interview yesterday, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu applauded the initiative, saying it heralds a new chapter and era.
He said: “We needed such transformational projects for African football to make a breakthrough. It has tremendous potential of unlocking raw talent in both rural and urban areas.
“In our case, it will go a long way in reinforcing our grassroots football programmes that are currently underway with Massa and Copa Coca-Cola Schools.
“We need to track and trace talent through the schools because that is where they are available and active.”
However, the FAM president said the details of the tournament are still sketchy.
“It’s still early days and probably the technicians at CAF are still working on the logistics such as the format.
“But it would be better if the tournament will involve national school teams other than a particular school because in that way, we will have the cream being selected,” he said.
Nyamilandu’s view was shared by Massa president Blackson Malamula who said: “It is a good development as it will help expose young talent on the international stage.
“It will provide young talent an opportunity to improve their skills through the exposure that they will get and this will benefit the junior and senior national teams.”
Celebrated former Bata Bullets (now Nyasa Big Bullets) and Flames forward Lawrence ‘Lule’ Waya also hailed CAF’s initiative.
He said: “During our days, we used to have national schools competitions both at primary and secondary school levels and outstanding players would be drafted into the Malawi schools team
“It was through the international schools tournament that we got the much-needed exposure and we had a proper transition process then.
“So, this is a commendable initiative by CAF,” he said.