Government has warned Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to tread carefully when facilitating Flames supporters’ trip to Zimbabwe ahead of Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Warriors.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Christopher Mbukwa, said travelling by road to Zimbabwe was risky for the supporters.
The Flames will meet the Warriors at Rufaro Stadium in Harare.
“We still stand by our recommendations that travelling by road is risky and Fam should consider all the necessary arrangements when travelling by road. We are of the view that there is potential security risk travelling by road to Zimbabwe,” Mbukwa said Thursday.
When sports associations are travelling outside the country, they seek clearance from government through Malawi National Council of Sports.
The Sports Council’s, Executive Secretary, George Jana, said it would be difficult to comment on the matter, saying the council was not in direct contact with the supporters.
There are fears that travelling to Zimbabwe might put the fans at risk due to the ongoing conflict in Mozambique.
On Wednesday, Fam claimed to have bowed down to pressure from the fans by providing them a bus to Zimbabwe.
Fam Finance and Administration Manager, Christopher Mdolo, confirmed that the association was ready to provide the bus to supporters who will contribute K30, 000 each for fuel.
The association has earmarked 50 supporters to cheer the team in Zimbabwe.
“The travelling supporters will also have a privilege of watching the game for free. We are hoping that Zimbabwe FA will provide us with 50 tickets for the supporters,” Mdolo said.
However, the supporters will be responsible for their accommodation and meals.
Self-styled Malawi national team Supporters’ Committee chairperson, Yona Malunga, welcomed the bus trip.
“We are ready to cheer the team. We are not worried about accommodation and food,” Malunga said.
Government through the Sports Council ordered Fam to fly the players to Zimbabwe due to the security concerns in Mozambique after the association had planned that the team should travel by road.
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