The Sports fraternity has said it is high time government started treating sports as a serious business that effectively contributes to the development of the country.
While President Peter Mutharika did not mention his government’s plans for sports in his 71-minute inaugural State of the Nation Address during the opening of the 45th session of Parliament on Tuesday, the sports fraternity believes the issue was overlooked, but it’s a priority.
Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) president Oscar Kanjala and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu on Wednesday said it is their hope that government will come up with policies that will make sports compete at global level and not just mere participants as has been the case.
“I would like to believe that the omission on sports should be a cause for worry because issues of sports become mandatory,” said Kanjala.
He observed that the only challenge is that people tend to look at sports as an expenditure other than serious business.
“And that could be the reason why it was silently not brought to light.
“Otherwise, we just hope that our sector will be used to its full potential including the global competitions such as the Commonwealth Games,” said Kanjala whose body boasts of about 80 percent affiliation of the local sports codes.
Nyamilandu said: “I am sure there is a plan for football and sports in general although the President did not mention it and we’ll follow up on those plans.”
Sports commentator Charles Nyirenda said it is important that as some ministries might be amalgamated, sports should be a stand-alone ministry.
“Sports is in itself an industry and if the government is talking about the youth, then there is need to prioritise sports and invest in it,” said Nyirenda.
The three also said they expect the yet to be appointed Sports minister to be passionate about sports.
Said Nyamilandu: “We want the prospective minister to help us change the mindset that football and indeed sports is not a mere social activity, but big business.”