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Ministry assures on Chan funding

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Sports Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda has assured Football Association of Malawi (Fam) that resources are there for the Malawi National Football Team to compete in the 2023 Africa Nations Championship qualifiers.

Fam President Walter Nyamilandu was recently qouted in the media as saying that they were contemplating withdrawing from the competition to concentrate on the Flames’ participation in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

But speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Malawi National Council of Sports offices in Blantyre, Chimwendo Banda said the government was always committed to ensuring that the Flames participate in international competitions.

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“The government has the responsibility of supporting the Flames and all other sporting activities. We have always done that and we will continue doing so. We are therefore assuring Malawians that we will not fail and the team will participate in the Chan qualifiers,” he said.

Malawi will face Zimbabwe in round one of the competition, which is for local players.

The minister further challenged companies and other stakeholders to continue rendering support to the team.

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Commenting on the meeting with council officials, the minister said they had agreed to hold a sports indaba with all concerned parties later this year.

“The indaba will, among other things, look at funding, participation of our sports teams in international competitions and also how our associations are managed. There is also a challenge in the growth of sports at grassroots level across the country and we want to surmount it through the indaba.

“We are expecting results but we are not investing much in the development of sports in the country. Sports Council is mandated to regulate the game but has many challenges. This is another issue we would like to address at the indaba,” he said.

Chimwendo Banda said the government is always willing to provide a conducive environment for the corporate world to continue supporting sports.

“We will try to come up with incentives to attract the corporate world to bankroll sports initiatives,” the minister said.

The indaba comes after former sports minister Francis Phiso held a similar exercise in 2018 without much to show for it.

Sports Council Board chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said they would intensify efforts aimed at developing sports at grassroots level.

“The minister has given us some hints on how to be innovative in providing sports services to all Malawians. We have to start looking at sports from different lens so that it becomes business. We have noticed that sports resources have been dwindling, hence the need to find a way of rejuvenating the game,” Madise said.

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