Malawi National Football Team has missed out on the millions that the top four teams in the Hollywood bets Cosafa Cup will share.
The Flames, who were in Group B of the regional competition, were booted out in the preliminary round despite beating Mauritius 2-0 on Sunday.
Malawi started the contest with a 2-1 loss to Lesotho before a 1-1 stalemate with eSwatini.
The competition’s champion will pocket R500,000 (about K30 million) according to a Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) statement released on Tuesday.
In the statement, signed by General Secretary Lynda Greeff, Cosafa indicates that there would be individual awards at the end of the tournament.
“The winning team in this year’s Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup will receive R500,000 in prize-money to go with the coveted trophy. The runner-up will earn R250,000 while the team that takes bronze gets R150,000 and the fourth placed side go home with R100,000.
“There will also be individual honours up for grabs, each of which come with a R20,000 prize. These are Player of the Tournament, Golden Boot for top-scorer and Goalkeeper of the Tournament. There is also a Fair Play award for teams,” the statement reads.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said the Flames failed to achieve their goal of winning the cup.
“It’s unfortunate that things did not go their way and the ultimate result is that they are not going to get anything from the prize money. Doing well at this tournament would have been a proud moment for the nation at large and a jackpot for our players and technical staff.
“Missing out on such a large amount of money is likely going to affect the players but they have to understand that football is unfair at times. Despite losing the ultimate prize, some positives are coming out from the tournament, with the discovery of some hidden talent which has been ignored for a long time,” Kaudza Masina said.
On lessons that the Flames should draw from the on-going tournament, the former Football Association of Malawi general secretary said coach Mario Marinica should admit that the 4-3-3 system is out of touch.
“The 4-4-2 system was able to bring the much needed positive results against Mauritius. This is the system we should have deployed from the very beginning,” Masina said.
Meanwhile, Zambia and Namibia have booked their semifinal slots, with victories on Tuesday.
Zambia beat Botswana 5-4 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time at King Zwelithini Stadium while Namibia registered a 2-0 triumph over Madagascar earlier on at the same venue.