Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, used about K525,504,276,08 in the just- ended 2022 Group D World Cup qualifiers.
The amount covered expenses such as allowances, accommodation, travel and venue charges for Orlando Stadium in South Africa.
The Flames were forced to use the Johannesburg venue after Confederation of African Football banned both Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe and Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Director of Finance Christopher M’dolo confirmed having used the amount in the World Cup campaign.
“The figure is correct,” said M’dolo, who did not take further questions.
Former Fam general secretary Yasin Osman, who also coached the Flames at some point, backed the expenditure, saying the allowances and bonuses were on the lower side.
“We will always talk about the big figures, especially when money is spent. This is football; one of the most expensive games in the world. It needs money.
“Look at the allowances our players get against our neighbours Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. We are on the lower side and these people [players] are not motivated enough,” he said.
Osman said it was high time Flames players were motivated.
“People will talk about the loyalty test but will loyalty put food on your table? Let us forget about how much we are spending and concentrate on how much we have motivated our players first,” he said.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu said the World Cup qualifiers were a learning process and has since called on players to put their heads up and focus on the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next year.
“We knew it was going to be a tough road but we planned to come out stronger. Unfortunately, we missed the plot.
“It is a moment to reflect and search our souls on how we will cope at Afcon finals by correcting our mistakes,” Nyamilandu said.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.