Flames might be forced to pull out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers if FAM fails to convince government to provide more supplementary funding.
This was resolved at a Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive committee meeting held at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre on Saturday.
A well-placed source disclosed that during the meeting, the executive committee resolved to further engage government on the prospects of securing more supplementary funding to enable the Flames travel to Ethiopia for their last Group B qualifier against Ethiopia.
“Having negotiated for advance sponsorship from the Flames official sponsors Carlsberg Malawi, which enabled the team to fulfil the away fixture against Algeria, the executive committee was briefed that they [Carlsberg] cannot give us the whole funding meant for next year on logistical and marketing grounds.
“So, the resolution was that we should further engage government and if it does not work, then we’ll have no choice but to pull out because we cannot manage to source funding for the Ethiopia game,” said the source.
He also revealed that Carlsberg gave FAM K50 million (US$107 527) advance sponsorship meant for next year, translating to 50 percent.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu could neither confirm nor deny the issue and only said the FAM GS [Suzgo Nyirenda] was preparing a press statement of the resolutions. Nyirenda could not be reached for comment yesterday.
However, Carlsberg Malawi’s senior brands manager [alcoholics] Twikale Chirwa claimed FAM has not made any further requests on advance sponsorship consideration.
“And as the number one supporter of the Flames, we wish them well in their endeavours and remaining qualifiers. Carlsberg as a good corporate citizen feels duty bound to complement government in the development of the game of football in Malawi using a holistic approach.
“Further to this, our mission in the short term is to support the Flames in their qualification efforts for Afcon 2015. As such we have advanced 50% of 2015 sponsorship fee to FAM as manifestation of our objectives and to ensure the Flames have a chance of qualifying,” wrote Chirwa in a response to a questionnaire.
He added: “We have since relaunched ‘My country My Carlsberg’ promotion where consumers will go away with Carlsberg branded Flames replica jerseys including match tickets in selected beer outlets before the Flames meet Mali on 11 November.”
Malawi National Council of Sports executive secretary George Jana on Friday said government has made its position plain that there will be no further supplementary funding.
“The issue is that the budget is not yet through and even then, government has made it clear that zikatha, zatha basi [when allocation has been exhausted then that’s it].
“They [FAM] just have to find a way. We have suggested that they negotiate with Carlsberg to consider giving them sponsorship meant for next year; otherwise on our side, there is nothing we can do about it,” said Jana from Zimbabwe.
The Flames are scheduled to host Mali on November 15 before travelling to Ethiopia for their last Group B qualifier four days later [November 19].