Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive committee is slated to meet Saturday in Blantyre where among other things, it will determine which tournaments the senior national team will participate in this year.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the meeting will also plan for an annual general meeting (AGM) slated for February.
The FAM president said they had been caught off-guard by CAF’s decision to set dates for the opening matches of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers in the current financial year.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced last week that the opening qualifiers of the 31st edition of the continental showcase will be held on June 8 and 16, but the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) only has an assured funding of K50 million against an estimated budget of over K200 million to meet costs of fulfilling Afcon and Chan [Championship of African Nations] as well as the Cosafa tournament.
FAM exhausted its K70 million allocation for the current fiscal year in July last year and is relying on the K50 million sponsorship remainder from Flames’ official sponsors Carlsberg Malawi for this year.
Nyamilandu said they did not expect CAF to arrange qualifiers for two tournaments within the first half of the year and a determination on the way forward will be made at a FAM executive committee meeting slated for today.
“We had hoped to use the K50 million from Carlsberg for the opening Chan qualifying games. I would have expected CAF to be considerate with financial pressures that member associations are facing because it will be difficult and unfair to schedule CHAN and Afcon qualifiers within a short period,” he said.
Apparently, Nyamilandu said there is very little that FAM can do about the situation because the only platform where they can raise such concerns is the CAF general assembly which will be held towards the end of the year, which he said would be too late to influence change of dates.
“Taking part in the Cosafa tournament should not be a problem because the costs are manageable as we’ll only have to cover costs of a short trip to South Africa, but it is the other continental tournaments that are a cause for worry,” he said.
The FAM president, however, said reviving a fund-raising campaign and re-engaging government for assistance are other options.
“A determination will be made at Saturday’s [today’s] Exco meeting, but it is obvious that we’ll have to enter into competitions based on money that is available. It will pose a very big challenge and we will have to make some tough decisions,” he added.