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Sports

On bended knees

Wants K236 million for Ethiopia, Guinea matches

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George Kaudza Masina

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has written Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) asking for K236 million for two upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) next month.

The Flames will host Ethiopia on June 5 at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) before an away match against Guinea on June 9 in Conakry.

According to a document, which Times Sport has seen, Fam needs K113 million for the home match against Ethiopia whereas K122 million will be required for the away match against Guinea.

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The budget is a bit on the lower side after Confederation of African Football (Caf) gave BNS temporary relief to host the Afcon qualifiers.

MNCS Public Relations Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa confirmed that Fam had already asked for funding for the Afcon qualifiers.

“Indeed, Fam has sent the budget for the qualifiers. At the moment, we are looking at it,’’ Ntulumbwa said.

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Government has the responsibility of providing funds to all national teams in the country.

Fam and Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) always get a lion’s share from Sports Council for national teams’ activities.

But, recently, the council told sports associations including Fam and Nam to find ways of generating resources to supplement national team’s engagements.

Last year, Fam got about K1 billion for both Afcon assignments and World Cup qualifiers.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda was reluctant to comment on the matter yesterday, saying he would provide details later.

Sports analyst George Kaudza Masina said government should provide funds to the team.

“The figure is justifiable considering that the association will be responsible for the visiting team and officials. But let us not focus much on the figure but let us support the Flames so that they do well,” Kaudza Masina said.

The Flames are already in camp at Mpira Village preparing for the two opening matches.

Newly appointed Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica named a 27-member provisional squad for the games.

In September, the Flames are expected to face Egypt home and away before meeting Ethiopia and Guinea in March next year.

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