Women’s football produced mixed fortunes in the country as the national team bowed out of the Cosafa Women’s Championship despite putting up a gallant performance at the tournament in Zimbabwe this year.
The national team was drawn in group A alongside Zambia and Madagascar but failed to progress past the group stage.
Zambia topped the group with six points followed by the She- Flames with four points.
Malawi bowed out after a three-all draw with Zimbabwe in their last game, having started the tournament with a 6-3 loss to Zambia before thrashing Madagascar by a similar margin.
The Stuart Mbolembole-led team included Chisomo Kazisonga and Tabitha Chawinga, who play in Austria and Sweden, respectively.
Despite the exit, Malawi had a consolation in Chawinga, who finished the tournament as the second highest scorer after netting 11 goals.
Mbolembole said he was impressed with the performance of the girls and asked Football Association of Malawi (Fam), through the National Women’s Football Association (NWFA), to maintain the team.
NWFA Chairperson, Severia Chalira, also described the team’s results as a milestone in the development of women’s football.
Within the year, the team failed to register for its participation in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) to start next year in Ghana.
Chalira attributed the failure to register for the Afcon competition to the late registration by Fam.
She said she was disappointment with the development, saying such competitions help to expose players.
The year also saw Chawinga being named Best Forward and top goal scorer for the Swedish Women’s Football League.
She scored 24 goals for her team, Kvarnsveden, despite getting relegated.
The achievement brought excitement to football lovers in the country, including her national team Coach, Stuart Mbolembole.
Her achievement also landed her a new deal with a Chinese side Jiangsu Suning.
The year also saw Chawinga’s sister, Temwa, seal a two-year deal with Kvarnsveden from DD Sunshine back home.
Overall, Chalira describes the year as successful.
“Despite some challenges which we encountered, we successfully organised three local tournaments. The year 2017 had its challenges like lack of funds. We get funding solely from Fifa and it is not enough,”
“We also wanted to have courses for our administrators, but we failed. It all goes back to the issue of lack of funds,” Chalira said.
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