Push has come to shove for FAM which has disclosed that it is now negotiating for a bank loan to enable it to meet Flames expenses for the remaining 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
This follows government’s response that it will not be able to provide more supplementary funding due to financial constraints.
The Flames are slated to host Mali’s Eagles on November 15 before travelling to Ethiopia for their last qualifier against the Walya Antelopes four days later.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu revealed yesterday that they had to source funding for the Flames trip to Algeria at the 11th hour two weeks ago in the wake of the development.
“We have to look at alternative sources of funding because the response from government was not a good one as they are also stretched.
“Government did help us with funding for the home match against Algeria, but we had to run around and raise funds for the return leg that was played within four days and our share from the gate takings was channelled towards the Algeria trip,” said Nyamilandu.
The FAM boss also said considering the tight situation in which they found themselves in, they had no choice but to get advance sponsorship from Flames’ official sponsor Carlsberg Malawi towards the cause.
FAM already exhausted the K70 million allocation from government meant for the current financial year as well as K50 million first tranche sponsorship from Carlsberg during the preliminaries of the qualifiers.
According to the three-year sponsorship agreement with Carlsberg, FAM was supposed to get K50 million this year and K200 million in the next two years [K100 million each year].
“But we had to negotiate for part advance sponsorship from Carlsberg; otherwise, the team would have not travelled to Algeria. In fact, the team nearly missed the flight because we were hunting for funds,” said Nyamilandu.
He said the association is now negotiating for a bank loan to enable it to meet expenses for Mali and Ethiopia games.
“We are trying to negotiate for an overdraft, we are in a very tight situation. All is not well,” he said.
However, the FAM boss said they have not given up on government.
“We are still engaging them with the hope of getting something,” he said.
Malawi National Council of Sports executive secretary George Jana on Friday confirmed government’s position on supplementary funding.
“The issue is that budget is not yet through and even then, government has made its position plain that zikatha, zatha basi [when allocation has been exhausted then that’s it].
“They [FAM] just have to find a way. We have suggested that they negotiate with Carlsberg to consider giving them sponsorship meant for next year; otherwise ,from our side there is nothing we can do about it,” said Jana in a telephone interview from Zimbabwe yesterday.
Ministry of Youth and Sports principal secretary Justin Saidi and the Minister Grace Chiumia could not be reached for comment as they were reported to be out of the country.
But director of sports in the ministry Jameson Ndalama said it would be difficult to comment because the matter was handled at a higher level.
“The good thing though is that FAM have acknowledged that they got their allocation and it was exhausted. The other thing is that we do not get requests through the media,” said Ndalama.
According to the initial budget that FAM submitted to government through Sports Council, the Mali game is pegged at K38.9 million.
The Flames have a chance to qualify if they can win both their remaining games. They currently anchor Group B with three points from four matches having won one and lost three. Algeria top the group with nine points, seconded by Mali [six points] while Ethiopia also have three points but with a better aggregate.