Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) plans to cut some sporting disciplines from a list of 2016 Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) beneficiaries in a bid to counter the programme’s funding woes.
In an interview yesterday, MNCS executive secretary George Jana said the K120 million (about $190,243) funding for the initiative which Parliament approved in the 2015/16 National Budget is not enough to cater for all the associations.
“The funding is not enough so as a measure to ensure that the initiative is effective, we will chop some associations from the beneficiaries,” he said.
The PIS, which bankrolls national tournaments for various sporting disciplines, was launched in 2009 but its allocation has remained at K120 million.
The funding stagnation is despite the cost of goods and services skyrocketing amid economic hardships in the country.
Over 10 disciplines including football, netball, boxing, taekwondo, lawn tennis, table tennis, basketball, darts and athletics have been benefiting from PIS since 2009.
Meanwhile, Jana said they are yet to identify the victims.
“We will meet in January to decide which associations will be chopped and we will have a forum with those that will be axed so that they understand the situation we are in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jana said the meeting will strategise on how to make the PIS achieve its objectives.
“There is no direction in the implementation of the initiative. It is like we did not set the objectives in the first place. We can’t point out which talent we have unearthed in the past six years,” he said.
The executive secretary also said they will introduce a format in Presidential Football Cup which may see Super League teams being barred.
Minister of Sports and Culture Grace Chiumia expressed ignorance over the changes being proposed by Sports Council.
“I haven’t been briefed on that. But what I know is that the next edition of the PIS will be launched next year by President (Peter Mutharika). But on what the council is saying, call the ministry spokesperson,” she said.
The spokesperson, Christopher Mbukwa said: “We are not aware of the development. But I know Sports Council will brief the ministry on the matter.” n