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Lazarus Chakwera to host Scorchers

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Ulemu Msungama

President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to host the Malawi Women’s National Football Team, the Scorchers, after winning a silver medal at the just-ended Cosafa Women’s Championship.

Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama confirmed the development Sunday.

“We are making arrangements that President Chakwera should host the team on Monday evening. We have since advised the delegation to board off at Kamuzu International Airport and not Chileka Airport as earlier planned,” he said.

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The development comes after Chakwera also congratulated the team for reaching the Cosafa Women’s final for the first time.

Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has been urged to invest in the women’s senior side after the team’s exploits in South Africa.

Scorchers lost to guest nation Tanzania, 1-0 on Saturday to miss out on a gold medal.

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However, it was a step forward as it was the first time the Scorchers had qualified for the regional piece final.

Scorchers coach McNelbert Kazuwa said it was an achievement for her charges to be among top two nations in the region.

“What we need to do is to give the team more support and exposure; then, we will be able to win trophies,” said the mentor whose charges defeated South Africa 3-2 in the semifinals.

Former Scorchers captain Linda Kasenda said the team had performed beyond expectations.

“This is not surprising because the players were coming straight from a competitive league. It is time the authorities pumped in resources to strengthen the team. We need sound grassroots structures and competitive leagues. We should train more coaches and also take part in international competitions to gain exposure,” Kasenda said.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina concurred with Kasenda.

“If we are to improve women’s football in order to compete for honours, grassroots football should be the starting point just like in men’s football where we have academies.

“Going forward, a national league will be ideal, apart from having robust regional and district leagues. This will help unearth hidden talent,” he said.

Masina said it was time to regulate the game, as is the case with the Super League, by making sure that only qualified coaches with a minimum of Caf B licence were eligible to coach teams competing in the national league.

“To cap it all, let Chiwembe [Football Association of Malawi] support women coaches with refresher courses and make sure that our coaches are accumulating the required badges.

“For the corporate world, the same support they have been giving their men counterparts, the same should be given to our women. With this, be assured that our women will improve their game and be able to win honours at international stage,” he said.

Recently, Fam President Walter Nyamilandu stated that they wanted to make women’s game more popular than netball.

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