Malawi Government has challenged football clubs in the country to submit proposals so that it can allocate them land for them to build mini-stadiums to go commercial.
Malawi’s Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana said this on Saturday when he presided over the launch of the 2013 Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) at Mzuzu Stadium which was spiced up with several sporting disciplines such as boxing, athletics and tug-of-war, among others.
Said Chihana: “Government is sad to see old teams such as Big Bullets, Mighty Wanderers, among others, still struggling financially because they lack funds to build stadiums which could help them accumulate worth and go commercial. This is why we are challenging teams to submit proposals for allocation of land so that they build mini-stadiums.
“Most companies approached us that they are ready to assist government in terms of finances to build mini-stadiums,” said Chihana.
He noted that clubs cannot raise enough money through games because it is shared among various stakeholders such as stadium owners, Sulom, FAM, Sports Council and security personnel.
The minister, however, said he was disappointed that while government was doing enough to promote sports in the country, finger-pointing was taking centre-stage whenever things go wrong.
“The Flames are preparing for a crucial [2014 World Cup] qualifier against Namibia, but there are a few misguided individuals who are praying that the team should lose so that the coaching panel is dismissed, this is bad. Let us give the coaching panel enough support,” said Chihana.
He also said government will in the 2013-14 financial budget consider raising the sponsorship package of the PIS from the current K120 million (about $308 000) to almost K200 million (about $503 000) so that it goes a long way in developing sports in the country.
On his part, Malawi National Council of Sports board member Julius Mithi appealed to organisers of the initiative to use the funds for the intended purpose to benefit Malawians.
During the PIS launch match played later on, TNM Super League champions Silver Strikers beat reigning Presidential Cup champions Big Bullets 1-0.
Dimunitive forward Green Harawa scored the lone goal with a spectacular scissors kick six minutes into the second half.