Football world governing body Fifa has hailed Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola’s contributions at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland last month.
In an article published on FIfa.com, Matola was applauded for his dedication and hard work.
“During his time at the venue he showed great cooperation and supported his team members with all tasks at hand,” reads the report in part.
Fifa Forward programme chief officer Joyce Cook was quoted by Fifa.com as having said the objective of the programme is for member associations to advance the skills of their staff members through capacity building.
“We are delighted with the on-site experience that Limbani Matola has gained as a Marketing Venue Manager at the Fifa U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. We will continue to provide similar opportunities in the future sharing Fifa’s best practices with our member associations.”
Matola has since described his experience in Poland as “an amazing life”.
“There have obviously been great lessons. Coming from Africa where we still have some way to catch up in terms of delivery, it’s been quite a huge eye-opener. One key message that I have learned is that it doesn’t matter what your background or cultural differences are, but when we come together, we deliver the best,” he said.
“I’m overwhelmed. It’s a special privilege that I could be among a few people chosen to deliver top-level quality service for these matches.”
Matola said the exposure gives the best experiences not only for Fifa commercial affiliates, but also the football fans.
He said he is confident that he will be given a chance to impart skills to FAM’s activities.
“The main takeaways were planning. There was a lot of planning involved to make sure everything was delivered to the standard of a world-class event,” Matola said.
“The other thing is that there is no room for error, especially in our case for marketing. We had to check everything to ensure conformity with the commercial rights of Fifa’s partners.”
Matola, who was among three Africans on the programme, emphasised the importance of collaboration between departments, and that when there is seamless communication between them, the best delivery happens.
He has thanked Fifa, Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa), for the opportunity.