Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has formed an adhoc committee to champion the Flames’ preparations for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be held in Cameroon next year.
A statement from FAM says the association resolved to form the committee, which will also mobilise resources for the Afcon finals, during the recent executive committee meeting held last week in Salima.
“The preparations project will involve high-level and wider participation of both the public and private sectors,” reads the statement in part.
FAM first vice-president Jabbar Alide, who is also chairperson of the competitions and marketing subcommittee, will head the adhoc committee.
The Flames are bankrolled by government with supplementary support from FAM and the team’s official sponsors FDH Bank.
However, this is not enough as the team prepares for the continental football tournament as well as participating in 2022 World Cup group stage qualifiers.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda, who is also former FAM general secretary, welcomed the initiative, saying the Flames need thorough preparations for the Afcon finals.
He said: “I remember when I was at FAM, we also had this kind of initiative when Malawi last qualified for the Afcon finals hosted by Angola. The initiative made a huge difference.
“We will be competing against the continent’s best teams, so thorough preparations are a must and that comes with huge expenses which government alone cannot manage.”
FAM’s decision to form the adhoc committee comes after Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama also called for the private sector to help in the Flames preparations for the Afcon finals.
Malawi qualified for the Afcon finals after finishing as runners-up to Group B winners Burkina Faso with Uganda’s Cranes on third position while South Sudan anchored the group.