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Fam describes 2020 as mixed bag

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu has said losing sponsorship at all levels and poor performance of the country’s national football teams were some of the major setbacks in the year 2020.

In his first review of the Raising the Bar manifesto, Nyamilandu described the year as a mixed bag with challenges and successes.

“Losing sponsorship at different levels of the game due to economic hardships as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic was also one of the low moments of the year. We are happy that some of the sponsors are still with us and we do not take it for granted considering that they have not been spared by the pandemic.

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“We are also disappointed with the failure to roll out the dedicated football Pay TV channel due to delays in finalising contractual agreements with key stakeholders two weeks ago. The football Pay TV is a legacy project that will guarantee sustainable revenues for our football.”

In the year that ended last night, the majority of local clubs endured a bad year due to the pandemic as they lost their major source of revenue.

Nyamilandu described the performance of national football teams as ‘below par’.

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“Fam acknowledges the poor performance of our national teams in the year 2020. This is one of the setbacks we endured. At least the senior women’s team gave us hope by reaching the Cosafa Cup semifinals but the other national teams performed below par.

“Much as the performance of our national teams can be attributed to the long layoff of our players due to Covid-19, the results were affected by underlying technical issues,” he added.

The Fam boss said, while there were several challenges, the football authorities registered some success.

“Among others, we managed to improve the welfare of Flames players, empowered member associations through increasing subvention by 50 percent and also empowered all 16 Super League clubs through a subvention of K10 million each.

“We also initiated a partnership with Uefa for capacity development programmes which saw our senior national team coach Meck Mwase attached to Dutch Elite League side FC Utrecht. So it was a mixed bag,” Nyamilandu said.

Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said there was room for improvement.

“It takes a man to admit challenges. Obviously, Fam has failed in many aspects. But not all is lost. We expect them to improve in some areas this year,” Kaudza- Masina said.

Another analyst George Chiusiwa said the country’s football governing body performed poorly in 2020.

“Fam should not attribute some of the challenges to Covid-19. To me, giving subvention to Super League teams is not a success because the money is from Fifa. There is need for more accountability and transparency on the Covid-19 funds.

“Fam should change the way it conducts business. It’s way of doing things has only succeeded in dividing member associations instead of uniting them. This has not helped in the improvement of the game,” Chiusiwa said.

Nyamilandu, who is in his fifth term of office as Fam boss, rode on the back of his blueprint titled ‘Raising the Bar’ to defeat his former vice James Mwenda in Mangochi during polls in December 2019.

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