Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) have presented a K1.1 billion budget for consideration in the 2017/18 National Budget.
Though the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development presents the national financial plan in June, traditionally, sports associations submit their budgets to the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) at the start of each calendar year.
According to information The Nation has gathered, FAM’s budget is well over K500 million with a huge portion set to be absorbed by the Malawi national team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2018 Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifiers.
The Flames have been drawn against Cameroon, Morocco and Comoros or Mauritius in group B of the 2019 Afcon qualifiers.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda defended the budget saying national team’s assignments are expected to drain much of the resources.
“All the countries we are playing are geographically far. We will therefore need much funds to travel there,” he said.
Meanwhile, NAM general secretary Carol Bapu said that their budget has been pegged at K600 million.
“Apart from the national team engagements, we want to spend the money on training umpires and other technical personnel. We also want to set up sports infrastructure,” she said.
In the meantime, MNCS executive secretary George Jana has said that FAM and NAM should not expect government to meet all their requirements as stipulated in their budgets.
He, however, could not commit the amount Treasury was expected to allocate to the sports codes.
“We haven’t been given a ceiling; that’s a limit where we are supposed to plan our programmes on. Nonetheless, it is obvious that government can’t afford to give FAM and NAM over K1 billion,” he said.
Jana further said the council will summon the two associations to explain what they are doing to generate funds to supplement to government’s allocation.
In the current budget proposal, FAM and NAM asked for K500 million each but Parliament only allocated K34 million to each of them.
FAM’s efforts to secure additional funding to bankroll the Flames’ Afcon and Chan fixtures were turned down by government prompting the football mother body to announce it was withdrawing from the continental tournaments.
The decision has since been rescinded as government and South Africa based Prophet Shepherd Bushiri have promised to finance the Flames.