The Malawi Under-20 women’s football national team World Cup preliminary round qualifier first-leg against Zimbabwe at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre this Saturday will be free of charge.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola yesterday said the decision will encourage Malawians to turn up in large numbers to support the junior women’s national team and inspire the girl-child to play women’s football.
“We desire to mobilise as many Malawians as possible to come to the stadium and cheer up our girls as they scorch Zimbabwe. We want the girls to be fully inspired knowing that they have the support of their country,” he said.
“Most of the players in our squad will be playing at international level for the first time and they need huge support to perform to the best of their abilities on home turf.”
Matola said the free entry will also encourage parents and guardians to appreciate women’s football.
“This is also an opportunity for parents, who doubt the potential of women’s football, to appreciate the sport and let their daughters join the game,” he said.
He also said this is an opportunity for the public to get to the stadium in one accord, relax and get entertained to the beautiful game.
Under-20 national team coach Maggie Chombo-Sadiki, whose side travels to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for the second leg between January 31 and February 2, said her charges are ready to make an impression.
“The girls are ready to show Malawians their capabilities on the pitch. By making entry to the game free of charge, FAM has made it easy for more Malawians to appreciate their skills. We will burn Zimbabwe come Saturday afternoon,” she said.
Malawi’s 25-player squad, which will be trimmed to 20 by tomorrow, has 10 players that represented the country at the Zone V1 Games in Botswana in December 2018. FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said they are hopeful the technical panel will build a squad capable of going a long way in the World Cup qualifiers and even make it into the eventual finals scheduled for August in Costa Rica and Panama