There seems to be a mix-up on the purpose of Malawi’s participation at the 2015 Cecafa Cup edition that will kick off in Ethiopia this weekend.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has challenged Ernest Mtawali to win the trophy while the Flames coach is of the view that the tournament should be used to build a team in preparation for next year’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
The soccer governing body’s general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda challenged the coach to win the Cecafa Cup, saying there would be no excuse for failure.
Nyirenda said this at a news conference in Blantyre yesterday where Carlsberg Malawi gave the national team K25 million ($42,584.3).
The money is part of the final installment from this year’s K100 million ($170,337) annual sponsorship as per agreement between FAM and the brewer.
Nyirenda said they have given the team all the support, therefore, expect good results from a competition where in the recent two attempts the Flames only managed a quarter-final finish.
“We have given the players their allowances for the whole duration of the tournament besides providing them a conducive environment for preparations,” he said. “Now we are challenging the coach to bring the trophy.”
ButMtawali had previously said he mainly wants to use the tournament as a team-building opportunity ahead of a flurry of Afcon qualifying matches next year.
But Nyirenda said that should not be the only objective: “We know that we are preparing for crucial Afcon games next year, but then we should always have a mentality of winning any tournament we participate in.”
Mtawali said he would comment today when releasing his final squad for the regional tournament.
FAM has disclosed that its Cecafa budget stands at K36 million ($61,321.4) with a huge portion spent on air tickets and players’ allowances.
Meanwhile, Nyirenda has said the remainder of the budget has been drawn from the Flames allocation in the 2015/16 National Budget.
“From the K100 million allocation, we remained with K22 million and government has given that money. Part of it will be spent on Cecafa while the remainder and the K15 million we got from Airtel will be used during Afcon fixtures,” he said.
During Tuesday’s briefing, Carlsberg Malawi senior brands manager Twikale Chirwa said they released the K25 million so that the team does not face financial problems at the tournament.
“As their official sponsor, we want them to prepare and participate at the competition without the players focusing on financial problems,” he said. n