United Kingdom-based Malawian writer Mario Antoine has published a book on the history of Malawi football.
The writer, who went to the UK in 2009, said he decided to write the book A History of Malawi and Nyasaland Football to preserve the history of the sport from colonial to post-colonial period between 1935 and 1969.
The book explores how the British, who travelled overseas for trade and to spread Christianity, played a critical role in introducing football to Nyasaland and other countries and how after independence in 1964, football flourished.
Antoine explains the origins of association football in 1948 following the formation of the Nyasaland Football Association (NFA) which catered for expatriates and Nyasaland African Football Association (NAFA) that was for the indigenous people.
The two organisations amalgamated after independence in 1964, to form Malawi Football Association which later changed to Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
The book credits Zomba Gymkhana Club formed on April 9 1896 and Blantyre Sports Club (BSC) formed on July 31 1896, as the pioneers of Malawi football.
However, Antoine says the book, published by AuthorHouse of UK, is just the first volume of planned three instalments.
He said: “This project will be in three phases as follows: The first book from 1935 to 1969; the second book from 1970 to 1999; and the final book from 2000 to date.”
Antoine has published the book after over 10 years of research, dating back to 2009 before he left for the UK.
He thanked several individuals for their assistance in ensuring the book is published.
Antoine writes in the book’s introduction: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to the people who have given material help and encouragement, among them my mentors Scott Cheshire and Ron Hockings both authors of many Chelsea Football Club publications, the late Peter Khamisa former FAM general secretary, Gomegzani Zakazaka—current FAM competitions and communication director; members of Malawi’s The Daily Times and The Nation newspapers, in particular Peter Kanjere, Edson Kapito and Joy Ndovi and also those from National British Library.
“Brian Griffin, who was a Malawi player-coach in 1967, provided much of his memorabilia from his time in Malawi, as did former national team players Yasin Osman and Mustafa Munshi, Jack Chamangwana and Young Chimodzi. Another great assistant and provider is Neil Morisson from England.”
Before migrating to the UK, Antoine served as board member of the Malawi National Council of Sports, TNM Super League giants Silver Strikers and Hockey Association of Malawi vice-president. He also played for both hockey and darts national teams.
Zakazaka said the book is a treasure for Malawi football history.
He said: “I have never seen any other comprehensive account of how our football has developed, better than Mario’s book.”