By Mabvuto Kambuwe
The Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is set for a windfall of $17.5 million (about K14.5 billion) every four years if the biennial World Cup proposal is approved.
Fifa held a virtual meeting with leaders of football associations on Monday to discuss the proposal to stage the event every two years instead of the current four-year cycle.
During the meeting, Fifa told member associations that the biennial World Cup would generate an extra $4.4 billion, which would be generated over four years.
Several international media including www.bbc.com, reported yesterday that Fifa pledged to give an extra K14.5 billion to each of the 211 member associations including Fam, if it gets approval on the biennial World Cup.
“The meeting was told that Fifa estimates, on average, that national associations would each be allocated around 12 million Pounds in additional funds, although the precise method of distribution was not clarified,” reported www.bbc. com.
An independent report by market researchers at Nielsen estimated that approximately $4.4 billion of additional revenues would be generated over four years.
In addition, the report also suggested that income from gate receipts, media rights and sponsorship for a 48-team tournament—as the World Cup is set to become from 2026— could increase from $7 billion to $11 billion, a rise of more than 60 percent.
Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda did not answer our calls.
Fam gets $1 million (about K825 million) from Fifa every year for operations.
The proposal for the biennial World Cup has received opposition from European clubs, Uefa and South American Football Confederation.
But Fifa president Gianni Infantino believes the proposal has majority backing from some member associations.
“It is about getting the right decisions for football at the end of the day. I will not commit to anything at the congress. Everything is open and flexible,” Infantino said.
“We continue the dialogue, the analysts; we hope we can make progress, one way or the other, or some middle way, we will see.”
Confederation of African Football (Caf) recently voted in favour of the proposal to hold the event every two years.
Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said this shows that Fifa was desperate for the biennial World Cup.
“Much as this sounds appetising for the FAs, this thinking is going to be detrimental to our beautiful game of football.
This is likely going to dilute the World Cup and the best leagues in the world and might not go well with the likes of Uefa,” Kaudza-Masina said.
“Yes, it might benefit the struggling FAs in the shortest run, but might end up disadvantaging most professional players from Africa.”
The Flames have never qualified for the finals of the global football showpiece.
However, they always take part in the qualifiers. Malawi finished bottom of Group D of the qualifiers with three points from six matches following one win and five losses.