Impressed by Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) achievements in infrastructure development, Fifa has picked Malawi as the host of Infrastructure Workshop under the Forward Programme to be held at Protea Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre from May15 to 16.
Twenty-six delegates from Cape Verde, Eritrea, e-Swatini, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda will use Malawi as a model in Fifa’s Forward Programme success story.
Malawi was the first African nation to qualify for the newly introduced Fifa Forward Programme in which member associations receive $1.2 million per year over a four years.
Apart from the $750 000 (annual funding, FAM gets $500 000 per year for specific projects.
A statement from Fifa says the workshop wants to enable football administrators across the continent to start a strategic reflection with experts in the fields of engineering, architecture and project management with an aim of developing sporting facilities.
During the workshop, delegates will appreciate the Mpira Village in Chiwembe starting with the office complex, the hotel, gym, restaurant, bar and the yet- to-be completed Chiwembe Stadium—all under Fifa Forward Programme.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said hosting the workshop is an indication that Malawi football is improving in terms of infrastructure development.
“One of the criteria that Fifa uses to select the host is the ability of the member association to, in this case FAM, achieve the completion of a football infrastructure project under the Fifa Forward Programme, but also looking at the growth path which Malawian football in infrastructure development has taken, like in the developments that have taken place at the Mpira Village in Chiwembe starting with the office complex, the hotel, gym, restaurant, bar and completing the set with the Chiwembe Stadium.
“As FAM, we had an objective to set a football village where we have everything that we want to do at one place; hence making the complete set of the Mpira Village. This means that we now have a home where our football development programmes will be administered,” he said.
Gunda said FAM is motivated by the world football governing body to use Malawi as a model in Fifa Forward Programme.
He said, “Hosting the workshop is a proof of the confidence that Fifa has in the governance and financial management process at FAM because there were a lot of compliance issues that we had to adhere to before getting the approvals for the project, get the finance and implement the project so Fifa’s gesture towards us is a sign that we have done well and we believe that we will continue doing so in future projects”.