Kasungu North Member of Parliament Mike Bango has set the ball rolling on campaigning for financial support to the Malawi National Football Team as it prepares to compete at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.
Bango, a football commentator and sports reporter by profession, is expected to present a motion in Parliament on Thursday next week.
Through the motion, Bango wants the House to resolve that a taskforce be formed to coordinate resource mobilisation for the Flames to effectively and efficiently participate in the Afcon finals.
“That having noted the financial challenges which the Malawi National Football Team is currently facing, and moved by the excellent performance of the Flames in qualifying for the Afcon finals, and in order to encourage and support the players to do even better at the Afcon finals, this House resolves that, through His Excellency the President, a taskforce be formed to coordinate resource mobilisation for the Flames to effectively and efficiently participate in the Afcon finals,” reads part of the notice of motion.
The Flames need over K1 billion for World Cup qualifiers later this year and Afcon finals to kick off in January.
In April this year, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) indicated that it would require K575 million for Afcon finals preparations and K600 million for World Cup qualifiers. The World Cup qualifiers will take place during the Fifa windows of September, October and November.
During its 2021 second quarterly meeting held on May 8 in Salima District, Fam also resolved to set up an adhoc committee to champion thorough preparations and resource mobilisation for the Flames.
The country’s football governing body had proposed to have preparations that would involve high-level and wider participation of both the public and private sectors.
Football consultant Kelvin Moyo said politicians had the potential to mobilise support for the national team.
“The initiative is commendable and I believe it will produce the desired results. We all want the Flames to have enough resources so that they prepare well for the competition,” Moyo said.
Last week, members of Parliament also pledged to lobby for increased funding for the Flames in the 2021/22 National Budget.
The Flames do not have a vote in the National Assembly but get funding through grants which Fam gets from the Malawi National Council of Sports.
In the 2020/21 financial year, Fam received K300 million from Sports Council.