The Minister of Youth and Sports Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda has pledged government’s continued support for the development of football in the country.
The minister said this during a meeting with the Football Association of Malawi on Thursday afternoon at FAM’s headquarters , Mpira Village in Blantyre.
Chimwendo assured the association that government is eager to see the national teams making it to different international tournaments, hence it’s commitment to support sports in the country.
“As government, we know that it is our responsibility to ensure that all sporting disciplines have the capacity to participate in international tournaments; so, we will do everything we can to see them there.
“The Flames made us proud when they made it to the round of 16 at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) earlier this year and it is everyone’s hope that the team also qualifies for the 2023 finals; so, the government will do anything to see this dream pass.
“We know that FAM has challenges in ensuring that the national teams participate in international competitions, but we are here to make a difference and I believe that with a good relationship between the Ministry, Malawi National Council of Sports and FAM, there is no way we can fail,” said Chimwendo.
He added that the ministry is planning to have a Sports Indaba in August this year where CEOs of Statutory Corporations, banks and mobile companies will also be invited to lobby for possible support for sports in the country.
The minister has since assured FAM that he will lobby the government to finance the Flames in their 2022 international assignments like the CHAN, Cosafa and Afcon.
Chimwendo has advised FAM to submit a budget to be presented to the ministry of finance next week.
In his remarks, FAM President Walter Nyamilandu hailed government for its commitment in supporting football in the country.
“We took the minister through our budget, and he has assured us that he is going to lobby government and mobilise corporate support, so we are not withdrawing from any tournament this year.
“The Sports Indaba is a welcome initiative for the ministry because there is sponsorship apathy in the country. The indaba will therefore give us an opportunity to sell ourselves and the corporate world will also have a chance to show us how far they can go in sponsoring sports in the country.
“As an association, we try our best, but the demand is huge now and because we can’t manage to give up on the junior teams, we need support so that we sustain all the teams as we look at the development of players from the grassroot level because we believe that we need these junior national teams if we are to keep a strong senior national team. We are happy that the minister has appreciated that the budgetary supper that we get is not enough and that government is going to do something for the national team,” said Nyamilandu