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Sports

It is tough!

Sports council given K1.6 billion ceiling

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Alfred Gunda

Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has been allocated K1.6 billion in the proposed K1.99 trillion 2021/ 22 national budget.

The allocation represents a decrease after the council was given K2 billion for its programmes in the previous financial year.

According to budget documents, which we have seen, out of the K1.6 billion, a total of K1.053 billion has been allocated for sports development, and will go towards sports associations as grants, once the budget has been approved.

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This means MNCS has to frame its programmes in the upcoming financial year within K1.6 billion.

The 2021/ 22 budget is expected to run for a period of nine months to March 2022 after a change in the fiscal calendar.

Chairperson of Sports Council Finance and Administration Committee Dr Richard Nyirongo said they needed more funds.

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“We will try our best to lobby for an increase because it will not be enough for all the programmes. But if we do not get extra funds, we will work according to what we will get,” Nyirongo said.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) will likely get the lion’s share of grants ahead of World Cup qualifiers in September, October and November and also the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be staged in Cameroon next year.

The association needs about K1 billion for the World Cup qualifiers and Afcon finals.

Fam, General Secretary Alfred Gunda was reluctant to comment on the issue.

Fam which gets grants from the government, will require K575 million to prepare for Afcon finals whereas K600 million will be needed for World Cup qualifiers.

However, after an interface with President Lazarus Chakwera in March this year, Fam boss Walter Nyamilandu said funding was a major setback.

Through the general sports grants, Fam was allocated K300 million last year.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina urged all sports associations to be innovative.

“Government will not provide everything for sports associations. It is up to them to mobilise resources for their programmes,” he added.

Ministry of Youth and Sports has been allocated K7.3 billion, of which the indoor Sports Complex under construction in Lilongwe has been allocated a lion’s share of K4 billion.

Kamuzu Institute for Sports has been allocated K2.5 billion for renovations.

In the 2020/21 budget, the Sports Ministry was allocated K8.4 billion, upwards from K7.3 billion in the previous year.

The Tonse Alliance government prioritised the construction of Indoor Sports Complex in Lilongwe, Mzuzu Youth Centre and rehabilitation of Kamuzu Institute for Sports as part of preparations to host next year’s Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Games.

Construction of Indoor Sports Complex is in progress whereas the construction of an Aquatic Centre is expected to start soon.

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