Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Netball Association of Malawi’s (NAM) funding allocations from government have dropped significantly this year.
FAM has been allocated K240 million, down from K300 million representing to a 20 percent drop. On the other hand, netball funding has dropped to K170 million from K200 million, a 15 percent cut.
FAM and NAM submitted K1.4 billion and K900 million budgets, respectively, for their activities.
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) acting executive secretary Henry Mereka confirmed the funding reduction, partly attributing it to Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected several sectors and sport has not been spared.
“In coming up with the allocations, we also had to consider the fact that some activities were either suspended or cancelled altogether,” he said.
The council’s allocation in the 2020/21 National Budget has stagnated at K2 billion which is far below their requested K3 billion.
Last month, Mereka said the allocation fell short of the sports governing body’s expectations as funding request submitted by associations was about K3 billion.
Sports Council has also stuck to its guns by allocating funds to only 13 associations which submitted their programmes and budgets. These are FAM, NAM, basketball, chess, boxing, volleyball, weightlifting and bodybuilding, cycling, Paralympics, table tennis, draughts, Special Olympics and Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa).
The MNCS boss also said the bulk of the funding for most associations will go towards purchasing equipment and capacity building as part of reforms.
“For instance, it was resolved with the Malawi Boxing Association that their funding should be used to buy rings. We want to acquire at least two or three rings for them,” he said.
Some of the associations that failed to present their budgets and programmes include Athletics Association of Malawi, Golf Union of Malawi and Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi.
Said Mereka: “It cannot be business as usual. We could not allocate funding to associations that did not provide their programmes complete with budgets. What would be the justification? So, we funded only those that met the requirements.
“Associations such as FAM did it to perfection by providing us with their other sources of funding and how much they would need from the council and that is the way to go.”
Reacting to the drop, FAM general secretary (GS) Alfred Gunda said: “There is a drop of K60 million compared to what we got last year and it is quite substantial.
“We receive what has been offered. But government is government, they are accommodating and if there is a deficit in our activities, we will go back to them to ask for extra funding as we usually do.
“Of course, our budget was pegged at about K1.4 billion, but between October and December, our budget is estimated at K460 million and our deficit of about K155 million will come from our allocation from government.”
He said their activities for this financial year include 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers and the Cosafa Cup; Women’s Cosafa Championship and Under-17 and Under-20 Cosafa Youth Championships.
FAM’s budget also included the Women’s Afcon which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
NAM GS Carol Bapu said their estimated budget was K900 million.
“But with some activities having been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, it could go down to about K700 million,” she said.
Bapu said their activities include the Fast5 World Netball Series, test matches for the Queens and Under-21 Netball World Cup.
“But for now I cannot comment on what we will do about the deficit until we meet as an executive committee,” she said.