Ministry of Youth and Sports has made a K700 million special request to the Treasury towards the Flames’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals and 2022 World Cup qualifiers’ engagements.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama yesterday said he is optimistic the funding will be released.
“It is imperative that the Flames should have enough funding if they are to do well in both tournaments,” he said.
The minister said the funding will not be part of the annual allocation which Football Association of Malawi (FAM) gets from government through the Malawi National Council of Sports.
Should the request be successful, FAM will still have a shortfall of about K400 million as its projected budget for the Flames’ engagements is K1.17 billion.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu hailed the ministry for the initiative, saying: “The move by the ministry to secure special funding for the Flames towards the Africa Cup of Nations is highly commendable.
“The sums of money that are involved are also substantial and befitting for a national cause of this nature. This will bring a lot of pride to the country and show a lot of seriousness.
“This will ensure that we undertake thorough preparations so that the Flames can effectively compete at the tournament.”
He said the last thing they would want to experience are hitches with travel and exposing the team to poor camping conditions.
“We need to motivate the players by looking into their welfare so that they can display discretionary effort at the tournament.
“It is our sincere hope that the special request will be favourably considered by Treasury,” said the FAM president.
On the projected shortfall, Nyamilandu said the association is banking on the Flames’ official sponsors FDH Bank plc, who have doubled the team’s sponsorship to K120 million as well as the resource mobilisation task force.
“That is why we have constituted the task force so as to bridge the gap. We have absolute confidence in the task force.
Meanwhile, the task force got down to work last week when it held its first meeting.
The task force chairperson Jabbar Alide, who is also FAM vice-president, said they were expected to have their second meeting last evening.
During an interface which President Lazarus Chakwera had with the Flames in April to congratulate them for qualifying for Afcon, Nyamilandu sought his intervention on inadequate funding for national teams.
He said: “Your Excellency, throughout the years, funding has been our major setback. For instance, we are allocated K300 million every year, through the general sports allocation, against a budget that is in excess of K1 billion.”