Malawi and Somalia made international sports media headlines for wrongs during the week after emerging as the only nations without representative teams at the African Athletics Championship which started on Wednesday in Benin.
The BBC Fast Track Sports of Wednesday reported that Malawi and Somali athletes were conspicuously absent out of the 53 member nations for the continental body, the Confederation of African Athletics.
The championship runs until Sundayand features 816 athletes from 51 countries, hence making Malawiâ€™s absence notable. Somaliaâ€™s absence could be understandable as the country is strife-torn.
In a response to a questionnaire on Wednesday, Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) president Dr. Richard Nyirongo attributed Malawi athletesâ€™ absence in Benin to lack of adequate funds.
“Sending one athlete and an official to this competition would cost us at least K1.1 million (about $4 400) just for the air fare. The circumstances of 2011/12 in form of low government allocations, government ban on externalising forex from government funds and the State funeral mourning period distabilised the AAMâ€™s calendar of events,” Nyirongo said.
The AAM boss insisted that there are no penalties for Malawiâ€™s no-show at the Benin competition which athletes will use as a qualifier for major international events.
John Kayange, Grevazio Mpani and Henry Moyo are some of Malawiâ€™s top athletes who defy the lack of resources to win medals even in continental championships.