Connect with us


FIFA President Cancels Malawi Visit At The Eleventh Hour

The much-anticipated tour of FIFA President Gianni Infantino to Malawi has been postponed until further notice.

The much anticipated tour of FIFA President Gianni Infantino to Malawi has been postponed until further notice.

The world football governing body’s chief was expected to visit Blantyre today Wednesday 27th November 2019, but the tour has been called off due to the ongoing rehabilitation works at the Chileka International Airport.

Several Football Association of Malawi (FAM) officials had arrived at the airport as early as 7 am in bid to beat the bureaucracy of the presidential detail and settled in tents which had been set up awaiting Infantino’s arrival.

The FIFA president was expected to launch FAM Football Academy and the Mpira Stadium, which were financed by the world football governing body.

By 7.30 am, armed uniformed and paramilitary security detail had arrived at the venue and took over the screening of people while others stood in strategic positions around the airport.

But around 10 am security vehicles which are normally present at such functions started leaving the venue.

FAM secretary-general Alfred Gift Gunda later released a statement stating that the ongoing rehabilitation works at the airport’s main runway could not make it possible for the presidential jet carrying Infantino and his entourage to land.

“After carrying out a full assessment of the secondary runway, FIFA Aviation at the last minute ruled that they couldn’t take a chance to land at Chileka Airport for safety reasons,” reads part of the statement.

“Alternative efforts to have the plane land at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe and use other means to transport the delegation to Blantyre were not successful due to the tight schedule of the FIFA President who was expected to arrive in the country at 2pm and leave at 7pm for Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The delegation which was to visit Malawi comprised of CAF President Ahmad, FIFA General Secretary  Fatma Samoura, Deputy General Secretary Football Mattias Grafstrom, and FIFA Acting Head of Member Association Veron Mosengo- Omba.

The FIFA Head of Communication Onofre Costa, FIFA Presidents Office Manager Federico Raviglione and FIFA Regional Development Officer David Fani were also set to land in Malawi to inspect development projects.

This would have been the second visit of a FIFA President to Southern Africa as the body’s former boss Sepp Blatter also visited Malawi in 2002.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Football

Translate »