A delegation of 10 people from FIFA and the Agence Francaise de Developmente (AFD) has started arriving in the country for a series of meetings with various stakeholders in readiness for the establishment of an inclusive Football academy at Luwinga Technical Center in Mzuzu.
Malawi is among the three African alongside Mauritania and Djibouti that were selected to establish inclusive football academies that will among other things teach young players best footballing techniques and how they can prepare for life outside football .
FIFA technical consultant Serame Letsoaka from South Africa arrived on Sunday while the rest of the delegation will jet in on Tuesday
According to FAM Technical Director Benjamin Kumwenda, the delegation will meet stakeholders from the Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, National Youth Football Association, National Football Coaches Association, Unesco and Unicef in Lilongwe on 1st November and Northern Region stakeholders in Mzuzu on 2nd November.
“The delegates will help us on how best we can establish the academy to be beneficial to Malawi as a nation. Apart from developing the players into professionals, there is also a need to look for their human rights hence the presence of Unicef, Unesco, the Ministry of Gender as well as parents and guardians at the meetings to make sure that the players are in a safe and comfortable environment when the academy is established.
“The Academy will also be a complement of the Talent Development Scheme (TDS) which we launched early this early with funding from FIFA”, said Kumwenda.
Kumwenda added that the Luwinga Academy will be a model and one of the best football academies in Africa and is aimed at producing quality players for Malawi through a structured player development pathway.
The programme is intended to make use 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.