This is sheer comedy. Masters Security FC owner Alfred Gangata has threatened to withdraw from the CAF Confederation Cup if government and FAM do not financially assist the club.
His sentiment comes as Migwanya are scheduled to face Uganda’s Proline FC away this Saturday in a preliminary round first leg tie of the continental showpiece.
Gangata gave the condition on Monday evening in an interview on Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s (ZBS) Mpira ku Malawi programme.
He said his club needs K45 million for the Uganda fixture.
“The government of Uganda is funding participation of their clubs in continental tournaments and our position is that if [Malawi] government, FAM [Football Association of Malawi] and Sulom [Super League of Malawi] do not assist us financially, then we are pulling out,” Gangata said.
But in an interview yesterday, director of sports in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Jameson Ndalama, said to his knowledge, Masters Security have not made any formal request.
“I am hearing that from you because in as far as I know, there has been no request from them,” he said.
Reacting to Ndalama’s comment Gangata said the club made the request, but not directly to the government.
He said: “We have no problems with government. What I meant is that such a request is done through FAM and Sports Council [Malawi National Council of Sports]. They are both aware of our situation and they are the ones that are supposed to take up the issue with government.
“Actually, we asked FAM to lend us some money for the Uganda trip, but up to now they have not responded. We have already made flight bookings, what remains is the payment. So, if they provide us funding, we will be good to go.
“In other countries such as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda, teams are funded by their respective governments and associations… Why not here?
“As Masters Security Limited, we funded the team’s participation in the same tournament last year and, therefore this time around, they should have helped us. We do not pluck money from the trees.”
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said he could not comment as he was in a meeting.
But football analyst George Kaudza Masina described Gangata’s demand as laughable.
“Was it Sports Council, FAM or government that told them to enter the competition? Why did they confirm participation when they knew that they had no funds? “The writing was on the wall all along that Masters were trying to force matters. Otherwise how would they have met the financial demands that come with playing in such an elite tournaments when they are failing to pay their players game bonuses and allowances for local competitions? Pride kills, they should just swallow their pride and withdraw,” he said.