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Afcon calendar change not affecting Flames budget

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Walter Nyamilandu

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has said there will be no need to revise its July- December budget despite Confederation of African Football (Caf) shifting the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The change has cast doubts on the possibility of the Afcon qualifiers taking place between now and December.

During a consultative meeting held in Mangochi recently, the association presented a K2.4 billion budget.

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Fam budgeted about K750 million on Malawi national football team’s Afcon and World Cup qualifying campaign, K197 million on women’s football activities and K359 million for member associations.

It is yet to be known when the Afcon and World Cup qualifiers would be played as football remains suspended in most African countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fam president, Walter Nyamilandu, insisted that there will be no need to revise the budget.

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“There will be need for the Flames to regroup as we prepare for Afcon and World Cup qualifiers having been idle for a long time. Over and above that, the women’s national team and the under-17 side will also be active, hence the need to maintain the budget,” Nyamilandu said.

Among other things, the consultative meeting normalised Fam’s financial year change from the July-June cycle to January- December to match Fifa’s financial year.

Member associations were given 10 days to give input on the proposed budget which will run from July to December.

Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, said despite shifting of the Afcon finals, the association was prepared in the event that football resumes.

“The budget is a plan, so we cannot revise it because of the change of the Afcon calendar. Our assumption is that Afcon will be played once the world opens up after the Covid-19 pandemic. So we do not know when,” Gunda said.

Fam gets funding from the government through Malawi National Council of Sports every year for national teams.

Afcon games were postponed in March when the Flames were scheduled to meet Burkina Faso in back-to-back qualifiers.

Malawi are third in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with three points from two games whereas Uganda lead the group with four points from the same number of games.

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