Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has accused Football Association of Malawi (FAM) leadership of holding government to ransom every time the issue of Flames funding comes up.
Mussa said this yesterday in reaction to FAM’s announcement that it had suspended Flames camping until they receive funding from government.
“FAM leadership is not patriotic and it is very irresponsible and frustrating for them to be holding government to ransom each time there is communication breakdown as regards the issue of Flames funding.
“Why rush to the extremes without exhausting available alternatives? It is an attitude problem that we, as government, must deal with decisively, once and for all.
“We cannot be operating under threats all the time, this has to stop,” said the minister.
However, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the move was not meant to hold government to ransom in any way.
“It is not a ransom because we have been talking for a long-time. Our patriotism should not be questioned, but the bureaucracy and response to directives made by the minister.
“This should be looked at strictly in a business context. We love our country and that is why we want the best for the national team,” said Nyamilandu.
He also confirmed that government has now released funding and that Flames camping had resumed.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said the issue of funding is linked to the peculiar relationship between the two parties.
“The two sides seem to be transmitting at different wavelengths. I doubt if they are well coordinated in the way they operate. Now, that leaves the coach in a quandary,” he said.
On Tuesday, Nyamilandu said the measures they had taken—to suspend camping—were a last resort, “having tried our best to manage the situation and lobby for funding for the past two months”. n