Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has a K25 million ($33 333) shortfall on its budget for the Flames’ 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group L double qualifier against Guinea’s Syli Nationale next month.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda yesterday said out of a K90 million ($120 000) budget, they only have K65 million and are counting on the revenue from the return leg match to meet the shortfall.
“We are assured of K50 million [$66 667) from Carlsberg Malawi [Flames’ official sponsors]. We also have K15 million [$20 000) which Airtel Malawi donated last year.
“Nevertheless, we are hoping that the team will do well in the first leg match in Conakry so that we can have a good turnout in the return leg,” he said.
The FAM GS said the budget covers players’ local and external allowances and game bonus, air travel costs and food.
FAM was allocated K100 million for the current fiscal year which was exhausted last year.
According to Nyirenda, the money was used for the 2017 Afcon qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Swaziland, part of Cecafa expenses and Flames coach Ernest Mtawali’s trip to South Africa to assess players.
“We already did the reconciliations with Sports Council [Malawi National Council of Sports].”
He also said the Flames will kick-start their preparations for the double qualifier this coming Sunday when local-based players are expected to go into camp.
Nyirenda said Mtawali and his assistant Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan are expected to name a squad of local-based players this week.
“Since the players have been inactive for sometime now, it is imperative that the coaches should have more time to work with them,” he said.
Mtawali said they have already identified local-based players who are earmarked for the local camping.
“The only challenge though is that some of them are currently undergoing trials in Mozambique, otherwise we are set,” he said.
Meanwhile, there is confusion over the dates of the qualifiers as Guinea has chosen March 26 as the date to host the Flames while FAM submitted March 27 (just a day later) for the return leg.
“We were asked by CAF to chose a date between March 27 and 29 and we chose March 27 while our counterparts were given the period between March 23 and 26 and they chose March 26.
“So, we have asked CAF for guidance because it is practically impossible for us to play on March 26 in Guinea and then play the return leg the following day here at home,” said Nyirenda.