By Mphatso Malidadi:
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) has cried foul after being left out of the All Africa Games provisional sport codes to represent the country in Rabat, Morocco, from August 19 to 31.
Chessam President, Susan Namangale, said it was disappointing to be left out despite having an invitation from the organisers and world chess governing body, Fide.
“Chess was nominated for this year’s All Africa Games and we were looking forward to competing for Malawi in August. We received an invitation and we were asked to liaise with Malawi Olympic Committee [Moc].
“When contacted, Moc told us that chess was not on Malawi’s list but said they would give it some consideration as they were lobbying the government. Apparently, all African chess federations will participate in the games.
“It will be a shame for Malawian chess players to miss this event. If the issue is about funding, they should let us know so that we can find alternative financiers,” Namangale said.
Director of Sports in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Jameson Ndalama, said the onus to pick sporting codes to represent the country was on Moc.
“Moc handles selection of sports disciplines whenever we are preparing for Commonwealth and Olympic games, among others. So, we, as the government, let them make decisions on their own. We do not interfere in their affairs,” Ndalama said.
Moc General Secretary, Jappie Mhango, did not pick our calls to comment on the matter but the body’s vice president Flora Mwandira said the issue was being handled by Vice General Secretary, John Kaputa.
In his response, Kaputa said they would submit the list of the sport codes to All Africa Games organisers today.
“This is not a one man’s job. We will look at reports and the board will come up with its determination. So, as it is, I cannot say which sport codes will represent the country in Morocco,” he said.