Uncertainty surrounds the future of the K3.6 billion football complex project in Lilongwe as its financier, the Royal Morocco Football Federation (RMFF), has not renewed its commitment to implement it having failed to start the construction early this year.
The project that would include a technical centre, an academy, recreation centre and three storey hostels with 42 rooms, was part of a three year partnership Football Association of Malawi (FAM) signed with the RMFF last year.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that the North African nation has not come forth to spell out a new period when the project implementation would start.
Nyamilandu said the RMFF rescheduled the implementation to an unannounced date so it could concentrate on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia where Morocco competed.
Morocco was kicked out of the global tournament on June 20 but almost two months down the line, FAM has not received communication on the future of the project.
But Nyamilandu was more than optimistic the project will be carried out.
“We are following up on the project and we hope to get feedback soon. Though the project has delayed, it’s still on the cards. We have not received any cancellation or withdrawal notice to this effect,” he said.
Government was part of the deal which FAM and Morocco signed in 2016.
But director of sports in Ministry of Youth, Labour, Sports and Manpower Development, Jameson Ndalama, said he was not aware that the project was yet to take off.
He said: “We have noted this with sadness. We will consult with authorities to see if government can intervene,” he said.
However, soccer analysts Chiku Kalilombe has warned that the project could flop, observing that Morocco might have used the project to coax Malawi to vote for its 2026 World Cup hosting failed bid.
“The apparent generosity that was exhibited then by the Morocco football body was, to say the least, baffling from the very beginning…It’s only when the World Cup bid came into the fore that we started seeing the possible connections.
“With the bid not succeeding we are seriously just at the mercy of the Morocco Football Federation. This leads me to urge all of us in football administration to rather start planning on our own to develop the game and its infrastructure using own funds and only have donors complement us,” he said. n