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Lessons from Morocco

It is pleasing to note that one of the issues that the Malawi delegation, comprising regional committees’ chairpersons, who travelled to Morocco on a football familiarisation visit, was told is the importance of working with former players.

The delegation met their counterparts in Moroccan town of Agadir and they were told that in their regional committee for the North African country, there is a committee of players who attend annual general meetings.

This sounds unique because former players are involved in the running of football at regional and national level in Morocco, one of the continent’s football power-house.

It is an undisputable fact that Malawi football has no such structure and former players have been sidelined on many occasions.

Of course, there are a few who have been entrusted to run the technical aspects of the game but there is almost none who is holding a political office at regional levels.

This is why Malawi football development at grassroots level has been a problem. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend that we do not need former players in as far as football development is concerned.

These regional chairpersons need to rise above petty football politics, which is championed by social media commentators, to come up with constructive proposals for the football association.

We appreciate that some so called former players are a bunch of empty buckets and they make senseless noise. But the affiliates can pick a few credible ones who genuinely love the game.

We know there is one players’ association which was created and it reports to Football Association of Malawi (Fam). But it defies logic to have this committee at the national level when it is not represented at the regional level.

If our regional football chairpersons have indeed learnt something from that meeting in Morocco we are expecting to see change in the way they administer the game to remove the misconception that their core duty is to vote during Fam elections.

Those who watched the game between a youthful Moroccan squad and the Flames last week Friday would agree with me that Morocco is serious with football development.

This is the youthful team that has been participating in different tournaments in Europe and has been together for close to three years.

This is the team which beat Gambia, drew with Malawi and demolished Kenya 2-0 on Monday. Now it is going to face Italy as part of rebuilding process.

It is my sincere hope that Fam will borrow a leaf from Morocco and make sure that the under-17 side that won bronze at the just ended Cosafa Cup in Mauritius will be maintained.

Some of these things are so basic and we don’t need rocket science to understand them.

The partnership agreement between Malawi and Morocco should not only benefit us in infrastructure development but also capacity and team-building.

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