FAM President Walter Nyamilandu Manda says the FIFA Football academy granted to Malawi is a game changer for Malawi Football.
Malawi has been selected alongside Mauritania and Djibouti for a new programme in Africa to set up inclusive football academies that will also teach youngsters how to prepare for life outside the four lines of the pitch.
The programme, run by FIFA and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and implemented by the NGO PLAY International and the Senegal-based Diambars Institute, is intended to make the most of football’s ability to teach life skills such as commitment and teamwork. It aims to prepare academy players to be future citizens, bearing in mind that only a tiny proportion will become professional footballers, and broaden their economic and professional horizons through football, empower them and ensure their employability.
Nyamilandu Manda said: “We are excited with such wonderful news which has been our pipe dream. The establishment of an academy is a game changer for Malawi football. This partnership with FIFA/AFD will set us apart and position us for greatness. The spin-offs of this project are huge as it will transform lives of our players socially and economically. We cannot wait for the revolution to gather momentum as we step up a gear to produce quality players with exceptional talent.”
“We are delighted that our project proposal to set up a football academy in partnership with FIFA/AFD is among the three that has been approved out of the many FAs that applied in Africa. We applaud FIFA for pioneering such a project and for according Malawi, such a rare privilege.
“This has enabled our vision of setting up a fully fledged academy at Luwinga Technical Centre as an epic centre of football development to be a reality. This partnership with FIFA/AFD augurs well with completion of Luwinga Technical Centre which is in its final stages.
“The successful pilot of the Talent Develop Scheme (TDS) which we launched in the South last year with support of FIFA funding, compliments the academy project that has been announced by FIFA/AFD.”
The programme is structured around several themes which reflect the positive values FIFA and AFD aim to promote and protect – child welfare and protection, gender equality and education. It is also connected to the FIFA Talent Development Scheme, which aims to help member associations identify and develop young players, and the FIFA Guardians programme, which provides a framework to help the 211 member associations prevent any risk of harm to children in football and respond appropriately