Malawi and 51 other African countries have missed the online eNations Stay and Play Cup Fifa has introduced to encourage football players and fans to stay at home during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu says it is difficult for the country to embrace the online eNations.
He said Malawi does not have the capacity to compete in the online event that started yesterday.
Nyamilandu said this in an interview yesterday after being asked if FAM was interested to compete in the 40-nation contest which South Africa and Egypt are the only African countries invited to participate.
Fifa with their partner Electro Arts (EA Sports) have created the online competition for nations to encourage football players and fans to stay at home during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and support the World Health Organisation (WHO) in their fight against the outbreak.
Said Nyamilandu: “Just like Futsal, online football is one of the opportunities we need to start thinking about but we cannot do it now because we do not have the resources. This contest is suitable for countries that have gaming equipment readily available.
“It is also important to make sure that before we think about such initiatives, we should first get our mainstream football right.”
During the launch, South Africa’s team eBafana Bafana, was scheduled to take on the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The tournament has 40 nations broken down in three sections by time zones.
South Africa is in the Central Section with 25 countries from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
According to Fifa, winners of each section will get a “prize money donation” awarded to a national charity organisation fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nyasa Big Bullets captain and Flames midfielder Chimango Kayira said the Fifa online contest is a welcomed initiative if the country had the much needed resources.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said Malawi does not have what it takes to embrace the Fifa online tournament.
“To be honest, we cannot afford to do this. Maybe with time we will be able to learn and acquire the right resources to embrace the game. For now let all our energy be on main stream football,” he said.