FIFA pledges to build FAM HQ in Lilongwe

World football governing body FIFA says it will fund the construction of Football Association of Malawi (FAM) headquarters in Lilongwe.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino and FAM President Fleetwood Haiya revealed after their meeting in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
Infantino also met President Lazarus Chakwera and Minister of Youth and Sports Uchizi Mkandawire to brief them on the project.
“During our visit, we had an opportunity to meet the President of the Republic and also the Sports Minister. We had an opportunity to discuss several projects. The future for football here in Malawi definitely will be very bright. There is so much passion and talent here in Malawi.”
Infantino said FIFA will fund the new headquarters construction after a request from Haiya.
“I met the [FAM] president Mr. Fleetwood Haiya for the second time. I first met him in Saudi Arabia and now. A man of passion, committed and wants to change and bring forward football in Malawi. Both women football, and men’s, and it’s exactly what we need. To invest in academies and develop the youth.
“A lot of these projects we can do together; our teams are working together. We are discussing about a training centre, brand new and this is exactly what we need to reach the next level. There are no secrets. There are no miracles. The only guarantee to have results resides in hard work and it’s exactly what Fleetwood is here for, what his team is here for, his administration, general secretariat and our team.
On his part Haiya said the FIFA President’s visit was historical.
“The coming of the FIFA President is indeed very historical. As FAM we are happy of his coming.  As you are aware FIFA is the backbone of FAM. FIFA is a major funder for us.
“Most of the programmes are funded through FIFA Forward. It was the right moment for me to meet the FIFA President and also express our vision. It is our wish to have a technical centre here in Lilongwe at the centre of Malawi but not only that, but also the capital of the country.”
On the headquarters project Haiya said they want FAM to be based in the capital city.
“We want to make sure that we have the headquarters of FAM here in Lilongwe. We should also have  training fields at a minimum of four. Where we also have hostels for both men and women football. We believe that with this structure that we are visualising, once we realising it will also going to help as we transform the game of football in Malawi.
“The FIFA President has given a nod that he is going to support the idea and beyond that, he has also presented that to the HE that we have agreed with FAM and this is what is going to happen, but maybe we need land for this. The President through the Minister of Sports has pledged that they are going to facilitate that we acquire land that we can development to a technical centre.”
FIFA will also support FAM’s schools of Excellency to be set up in all the country’s regions.
Haiya explained: “Apart from this, we also discussed about academies or school of excellency. So, in
Mzuzu we are opening Luwinga Academy. At first was a technical centre for Under-14 both boys and girls, but we are saying we are visualising that we should consider all the regions of Malawi.
“For example having two schools of excellency in Blantyre, Southern Region and two in the Central region, one in the Eastern Region and one in the Northern Region.”
The FAM President further said they want to work with government national schools in the project.
“We believe these schools of excellency which can be domiciled in the government national secondary schools can help us make sure that we transform the game.  There are more advantages to the government and schools if they allow us to have such schools of excellency.
“We are going to make sure that we cover some of the costs in terms of water, electricity. We are going to maintain the pitches. Not only that, we are going to make sure that we cover even the fees for the pupils who are going to be the players.
“We believe that if we can continue developing football starting from the grassroots as it was before, we may go back to the days of glory, where by Malawi should become dominant and very good national team that only can win not only one game but something that we can also sustain, and moving forward it will be easy to qualify for each and every Africa Cup of Nations.”

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