Malawi National Football Team will tomorrow get inspiration from President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, who are expected to watch the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the Flames and Ethiopia.
The two senior citizens have confirmed their attendance at the match as the Flames seek to qualify for the continental showpiece for the second successive time.
State House Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda said Chakwera called on the nation to rally behind the team.
“Despite the President’s busy schedule he has opted to cheer the Flames. The President also wants the whole nation to rally behind the senior national team as they need our support. The President will do this because he understands that football unites people of different backgrounds. Therefore, we should all put behind our differences and cheer the Flames. Tikaipatse moto Flames a president akutero [We must cheer the Flames wholeheartedly so say the President],” Kasunda said.
In a related development, Press Secretary in the office of the Vice President Pilirani Phiri confirmed Chilima will join Chakwera at BNS.
“It is a big match and the team needs everyone’s support to start the campaign powerfully,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda said the country’s leadership has demonstrated its passion and support for the Flames in particular and sports in general.
“This is what leadership must do. Now the Flames must work hard to impress,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu welcomed Chakwera’s and Chilima’s gesture.
“The presence of the State President and Vice President is a strong message of intent that Malawi means serious business on Sunday.
“It is a huge morale booster for the Flames to know that the Number One Citizen who is the Commander in Chief will be at the battlefield on Sunday to personally rally the team. This will make the players die for their country and go the extra mile to conquer Ethiopia,” he said.
Nyamilandu said the gesture has also given them confidence that the government was committed to developing football.
“Their presence underscores that the government is fully behind the Flames in its bid to qualify for Afcon 2023, Ivory Coast. We highly appreciate the love and sacrifice that the State President and Vice President have shown to grace the occasion on Sunday. They have just ignited the fire,” he said.