Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is yet to receive the first consignment of the Flames new replicas with just a day before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifier against Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions.
However, the association’s marketing and commercial director Limbani Matola yesterday said they were trying their best to have the consignment flown in today from South Africa.
“The consignment is at OR Tambo [International] Airport in Johannesburg and we are working with courier companies to see if it can be flown in tomorrow [today],” he said.
However, the FAM official could not give any further details “until we complete the task. That is when we can give a clear picture on things like pricing and selling points”.
Last week, FAM said they were confident that the replica jerseys would hit the market in time before tomorrow’s showdown slated for Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
However, football analyst George Kaudza Masina yesterday said FAM could have done better in terms of planning.
“I think they have lost an opportunity to cash in on the replica jerseys because time is not on their side.
“To begin with, the Flames’ results have not been impressive and, therefore, their brand is difficult to market. Nevertheless, with the narrow loss in Cameroon, local fans would still give them the benefit of the doubt and would want to associate themselves with their national team and hope they can cause an upset on Tuesday.
“But the harsh reality is that FAM does not have time, considering that the game is on Tuesday. Even if the consignment arrives tomorrow [today], they will not have enough time to work on the logistics,” he said.
FAM went into a three-year technical sponsorship deal with South Africa-based sports apparel firm International Sports Apparel Design Institute (Isad) which is owned by former Bafana Bafana and Fulham midfielder Kagisho Dikgacio, following the expiry of a contract with its previous partner Umbro.
Meanwhile, the Flames returned home from Cameroon yesterday and went straight into business by loosening up after a brief rest in preparation for tomorrow’s encounter.
“Unfortunately, we do not have much time, but we will try to come up with a programme that will not affect the players’ physical condition after such a long trip,” said coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG).
The Indomitable Lions, who won the first leg 1-0 in Yaounde on Friday, were the first to arrive around midnight on Saturday. n