Government and FAM are embroiled in ball game on the responsibility of raising K62 million (US$125 253) to enable the Flames to complete their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign which hangs in the balance.
Time is ticking away for the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) which only has five days to raise the K62 million needed for the games, but Youth and Sports Ministry’s principal secretary Justin Saidi said the ball is in FAM’s court while the association’s president Walter Nyamilandu said they are counting on government to come up with the rescue package.
FAM has set this weekend as the cut-off point to raise the money, failing which they will pull out of the continental showpiece
Saidi yesterday said FAM needs to play a leading role in the drive other than just depending on government.
He said this in response to a question on whether there is any progress regarding government’s initiative to try and raise funding from the corporate world to enable the Flames to fulfil their remaining fixtures against Mali [at home] and Ethiopia [away].
“I think FAM would be better placed to respond to that question. We expect FAM to play a leading role because it is their show, we are just coming in to help. So, they should be in the forefront and not just look up to government to come up with a rescue package.
“On our part, we are trying some means, but we would want to hear from them [FAM] on what they are doing. They need to explain whether proceeds from TV rights, gate collections, perimeter advertising and sale of replica jerseys will be channelled towards the cause,” said Saidi.
However, Nyamilandu said they are counting on government having been given an assurance that they are mobilising funds from the corporate world.
“We have exhausted all the channels and we have cleaned up all our revenue. Our position still stands that if we do not raise the money by this weekend, then we’ll be left with no choice, but to pull out” said Nyamilandu.
He also claimed that he had a brief meeting with the PS on Saturday who assured him that they are pleading with the Ministry of Finance to reconsider its decision not to provide extra budgetary allocation for the cause.
Asked where the money generated from the home match against Algeria match such as TV rights and gate collections went, Nyamilandu said: “We only got $30 000 from TV rights [about K13.5 million] plus gate takings and all that went towards the away game against Algeria. It was not even enough and that is why we asked for advance sponsorship from Carlsberg Malawi to meet the shortfall which was coming up to K38 million. It’s not like we are hiding any money.”