Fifa commits to Fam youth league
World football-governing body, Fifa, has committed to continuing supporting the country’s under-16 Fifa/Fam Regional Leagues until next year.
The initiative was introduced in 2015 and had an initial target of Under-15 players with Malawi being chosen as the only country out of all Fifa member states to run it.
It has now spread out to all districts across the country, with the exception of Likoma after initially starting with the Eastern and Central regions before rolling out to the South and North.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Youth Development Officer, James Sangala, said Fifa will support the project until next year.
“It is pleasing that Fifa will be with us for another year. After that, it will be up to us to see how we will move forward with it,” Sangala said.
He said the project has proved to have great potential in the development of the game in the country as it has unearthed players who have a bright future in the game.
Sangala said taking the project to all districts has enabled Fam to broaden the game’s catchment area.
“For football to develop in the country, we need as many players in organised football as possible. More players competing in the game will result in stiff competition for places in national teams at all levels. We want the youngest players to take a leading role in shaping the destiny of our football,” he said.
The leagues are currently on off-season after concluding this year’s games last month.
Dedza finished as champions for the Central Region after collecting 43 points in 20 games, while Balaka got the title in the Eastern Region after also amassing 43 points from 21 games.
The Northern Region has Mzuzu City as its champions with 47 points from 21 games whereas Blantyre Urban became champions in the Southern Region after collecting 46 points from 21 games.
The country has other competitions that target young players including the Copa Coca Cola, Mayor’s Trophy, Airtel Rising Stars and the FMB Under-20 League.
The youth programmes seem to be bearing fruits as the country’s under-17 national football team managed to defend its bronze medal finish in the Cosafa Youth Championships this year in Mauritius.
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