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Ministry awaits cabinet approval on AU Games

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The Ministry of Youth and Sports has said it is still waiting for approval from Cabinet to host 2022 Africa Union Region Five Games.

The AU Games are held between member countries on a rotational basis and are mandatory. Malawi’s turn to host the Games will be in 2022.

The Ministry of Sports on Wednesday submitted the plan to the Cabinet.

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Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports Jameson Ndalama said the ministry has been advised to re-work some of the proposals before the Cabinet makes a decision.

“There are several procedures we have to follow and we are consulting the authorities. The Games are very important and we are committed as a country to host the Games but we need to get approval from the Cabinet for us to be sure of getting funds and other logistics,” he added.

For Malawi to successfully host the Games, it requires over K20 billion for both administration and operational costs.

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The AU Region 5 Games attracts over 3500 athletes and officials from Southern Africa.

Athletes compete in games such as athletics, netball, basketball, volleyball and football.

As part of preparations for the Games, the country was constructing a state-of-the-art netball court in Lilongwe near Bingu National Stadium.

Construction of the facility would be completed within two years. In addition, the government is also constructing an international standard swimming pool near Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe.

Government was also upgrading some of the sports facilities in the country ahead of the Games which were hosted by Botswana in 2018.

But the Games did not take place last year due to the Covid pandemic. Lesotho was expected to host the 2020 Games but AU Region Five is yet to confirm due to the Covid pandemic.

Malawi National Council of Sports Sports Development Officer Ruth Mzengo said it was difficult to start preparing for Lesotho Games.

Malawi Under-20 Netball Team won a silver medal during the games in Botswana.

on-field exploits.

“This deal moves us towards fulfilling our holistic view of players’ welfare not in isolated packages where we want them to have professional contracts with medical cover, mandatory wages and insurance. We will now explore the other two,” Banda said.

Football Players Association (FPA) General Secretary Ernest Mangani hailed the stakeholders for the partnership.

“The coming in of the medical scheme will bring motivation and satisfaction to the players. They will now enjoy their game and we will make sure that we are committed to this scheme,” Mangani said.

Several football players have had their careers shortened due to lack of proper medical care in Malawi.

Ntopwa FC owner Isaac “Jomo” Osman commended Masm for the gesture, saying clubs would benefit a lot.

Injuries have robbed the nation of several talented stars including Maxwell Chirwa and Ishmael Thindwa.

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