Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) and the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development are playing a blame game over Malawi Queens’ delayed preparations for the 2019 Netball World Cup.
The global showpiece is slated for July in Liverpool, England, and national coach Griffin ‘Zagallo’ Saenda has repeatedly expressed worry over the delayed preparations, saying they could affect the team’s performance.
But while the netball governing body attributes the situation to unavailability of funds, the ministry says NAM has not submitted a request for funding.
The ministry’s spokesperson Christina Mkutumula said they are aware of the team’s participation at the World Cup and that funds are available provided NAM submits a request for funding.
“Government has already committed to provide 100 percent support to the team ahead of the World Netball Cup.
“We are, therefore, surprised that NAM is yet to submit the necessary documentation for the funds to be released,” she said.
On his part, Malawi National Council of Sports executive secretary George Jana also said NAM is yet to provide his office with information pertaining to the team’s training schedule.
“NAM has not provided us with information on when they want to start preparations and the period. Otherwise, we are aware that the team is supposed to take part in World Cup and the fees have already been paid by government,” he said.
However, NAM president Khungekire Matiya said they already submitted their budget to Sports Council sometime back.
“We are still waiting for government to release funds for the team to start training. Once the money is made available, then we will release a preparatory plan which will be made available to the public,” she said.
On submission of request for funding, Matiya said: “We submitted the budget to Sports Council way back. We don’t submit directly to government, we do it through Sports Council.”
NAM’s budget for the event is pegged at K160 million.
Meanwhile, all the other contestants in the 16-team events, including African teams South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have since intensified their preparations.