Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) is expected to reduce its funding towards sports associations’ programmes following the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sports Council acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said the council, just like any other government arm, will be affected by the economic problems emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Everything has slowed down economically because of the Covid-19. As sports sector, we depend on other economic factors.
“From that front, we should expect an effect whereby we would scale down some of the programmes because of these economic problems.
“I mean, if the economy is inactive we should not expect government to finance all the programmes. So, we should expect cuts,” he said.
Mereka said once the pandemic has been controlled, sports associations are expected to revise their programmes.
“Most of their programmes were based on certain competitions which have been cancelled or postponed. Basically, once the pandemic has been controlled we will sit down with them and map the way forward.
“In terms of sports programmes from associations, we expect higher budgets because the programmes that have been suspended will be compressed. Everyone will want have their programmes implemented at the same time. But we should be realistic because we will be dictated by the economy,” he said.
Mereka said only sports programmes that are developmental will be accepted.
He said: “They prioritise should be programmes that should make sense. They should be programmes that in terms of sports development, they can achieve something. Even ourselves as Sports Council, we will have to adjust our programmes,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said the association will soon come up with a revised budget.
“We will have to submit a new budget for the fiscal year starting 1st July based on the revised programme of activities for the national team,” he said.
Some of the competitions which FAM is expected to participate are 2022 World Cup and 2021 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, senior Cosafa Cup, Under-20 men and women’s Cosafa Cup, Under-17 Women’s Cup and Women’s Afcon.
Malawi is also expected to host the Under-17 men’s Cosafa Cup in July which Nyamilandu said awaits a decision from Cosafa.
Netball Association Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu said the association will wait until the pandemic is under control to revise their calendar and the association’s budget.
NAM suspended Presidential Initiative of Sports Netball Championships which is funded by government.
The Under-20 national netball team was also expected to participate at World Netball Youth Cup qualifiers in Uganda next month.
There are currently more than 11 000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 570 confirmed deaths across Africa.