Malawi Football Association Withdraws the Senior National Football Team from CHAN and Africa Cup of Nations Competitions
Malawi Football Association has decided to withdraw the senior national football team from the CHAN and African Cup of Nations competitions due to lack of funding.
In an official press release from the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), the executive committee met after the government turned down its request to hire an expatriate coach for the national team.
According to FAM, following a lengthy examination to determine the current gaps and shortfalls within the team, a resolution was reached that the only way forward was to find a new and more experienced coach which was turned down by the government.
Adding to the poor investment in infrastructure, technical development and investment in both the youth and women teams, the Football Association decided it was best to withdraw the national team until the government can afford funds.
“The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) would like to inform the general public and all its stakeholders that at its Executive Committee Meeting held in Lilongwe on 11th March 2017, the Association, among other things, considered the recruitment of the Malawi National Senior Football team (“the team”) coach, and funding for the Malawi National Football Team engagements.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]As you may all recall, FAM, having earlier examined and identified the dire extent of the current gaps and shortfalls in the team, resolved that an experienced and well qualified expatriate coach be engaged.[/perfectpullquote]
Accordingly, a comprehensive proposal and justification were sent to the government as the financiers. It was expected that the expatriate coach was going to drill our current crop of players to international levels for better performance of the team. It was also expected that the expatriate coach was going to provide mentorship to our local coaches with a view of them taking over the team at the expiry of his contract. As we are all aware, the proposal has been declined on the account of the current adverse economic situation that the country is facing.
The meeting also discussed a number of engagements that had been planned for the team notably the CHAN and Africa Cup of Nations competitions. During several rounds of consultations and discussions it was very clear that due the current economic problems, the Government will not be able to provide funding for the team for its participation in the above two tournaments.
It was also apparent that due to the current programs that FAM was implementing in infrastructure and technical development, women’s football, grassroots and youth football and others, it was not going to be possible either for FAM to bail out the current situation, as it has previously done on numerous occasions.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] In view of the above developments, FAM would like to advise the general public and all its stakeholders that, after comprehensive discussions during the meeting, it was resolved as follows: [/perfectpullquote]
The immediate recruitment of the Malawi National Senior Football team coach is suspended until such a time that Government has adequate resources to fund such recruitment and also for the reasons outlined in (iii) below. The current huge gaps and shortfalls of our Senior National Football team can only be addressed through recruitment of a well-trained and highly experienced expatriate coach.
Being its core responsibility, FAM, with the support and funding from FIFA and CAF will intensify and dedicate all its efforts and resources towards football development programs. Special emphasis will be placed on coaching, grassroots and youth football.
Accordingly, FAM will recruit a highly qualified and experienced Director of Football to lead these development programs. It is expected that the Director of Football is going to fully develop the game at the grassroots and youth level so that a strong Under 15, Under 17 and Under 20 National Football Team can be developed.
These are expected to feed in the Senior National Football team as and when funding becomes available. It is further expected that the Director of Football is going to train and capacitate our local coaches for them to take over able responsibility for the Senior National Football team as and when it becomes active.
Having considered all the available options, and in accordance with required notices for withdrawal, it was further resolved that the Malawi National Senior Football team be withdrawn from CHAN Competition by 31st March, and from AFCON by 30th April 2017, due to lack of funding.
FAM would like to inform the general public and all its stakeholders that it is fully aware of the negative implications including fines and suspension such withdrawal may attract. However, in its consideration, such withdrawal and its negative implications cannot be avoided looking at the current level of desperation that the Senior National Football team is in terms of funding and overall support.”
Issued on this 12th day of March 2017.
Alfred Gift Gunda
Chief Executive Officer.”
This decision comes after the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Manpower Development budget was cut from K2 billion to a surprising K 800 million which caused a stir in parliament.
According to FAM General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, they decided it was a better risk to take a hefty re-joining fine than remaining in a competition it can’t afford.
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