Namalimwe CDSS played some of their games at the just-ended Airtel Rising Star Tournament in Kenya barefoot while in games against Kenya, both they and Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) used borrowed boots.
JBF coach Robert Munthali, captain Timothy Gova and leader of delegation Christopher Kabwazi confirmed the news on arrival back home on Sunday.
“Most of us had no boots while others had worn-out shoes. It was pathetic. We had to borrow from the Nigerian team who had no fixtures on the day,” said Gova.
Kabwazi said the incident exposed lack of preparedness.
“Airtel did their part perfectly, but the schools failed to provide equipment for their teams. It was embarrassing. We cannot fault Airtel on this,” said Kabwazi.
According to Kabwazi, JBF director Roy Banda was forced to buy new boots, which his team used in the games against Ghana and Madagascar.
Unlike JBF, Namalimwe played their fixtures against Uganda and Sierra Leone without boots.
“Since Nigeria also had fixtures on that day, it was not possible for them to lend us the boots. As a result, we had to play barefoot,” said captain Chimwemwe Billy.
Kabwazi, however, paid tribute to JBF football team for a gallant fight despite lack of equipment.
“It was only Malawi which had schools representing the country, the other countries had national select teams, so for JBF to beat Kenya and drew against Ghana and Madagascar, it was not a small feat. They are a great team and represented Malawi well,” he said.
Other countries that participated are Burkina Faso, Chad, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia.