By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has expressed doubts on funding three national teams which have international engagements within one month.
The senior national team is in camp preparing for two World Cup preliminary round matches against Botswana early next month, whereas the Malawi women’s national team regroups today for the 2020 Olympic Games qualifier against Kenya this monthend.
The She-Flames will fly to Kenya just weeks after returning from the Cosafa Women’s Championship in South Africa.
Malawi has also sent the under-17 national team to a regional tournament in Tanzania.
The three national teams would blow up Football Association of Malawi’s annual budgetary allocation of K300 million
After competing in the East African country, the junior Flames are expected to return home and continue preparations for the Cosafa Youth Championship which the country will host from September 25.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) General Secretary Alfred Gunda said the three engagements, which include hosting of the Cosafa under-17 tournament, would require over K300 million which is the amount the government allocated Fam in the 2018/2019 financial year.
Malawi National Council of Sport (MNCS) acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka said they might face challenges with releasing funding within the required period.
“We know that these are crucial events which require funding. Fam would need their entire year’s allocation to fulfill these games. We might panic to release their allocation within the shortest period of time because all the events are in a space of one month.
“The other challenge is that in the event that all the three teams progress in their respective competitions, there would be need for more funds,” Mereka said.
Gunda admitted that the association is in a tight spot over funding for the three teams.
“Our three national teams have crucial engagements between August and September. We will require resources to ensure that we fulfill all the games. We are working hard with our partners to find solutions. It is our hope that all the assignments will be fulfilled,” Gunda said.
Other competitions which the country’s national football teams have competed in this year are the men’s Cosafa Cup, Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the African Nations Championship.
The She-Flames also played two home-and-away matches against Mozambique.
Meanwhile, the women’s football team regroups today at Mpira Village in Blantyre after taking a week’s break camp following the return from South Africa on Wednesday last week.
Coach Abel Mkandawire has maintained the same squad he had in camp for the Cosafa preparations, with the addition of Chawinga sisters Temwa and Tabitha.
The two missed the Cosafa tournament due to club commitments.
Malawi host Kenya in the first leg at Kamuzu Stadium on August 28 with the second leg scheduled for Nairobi three days later.
Below is the full squad:
Goalkeepers-Ruth Mhango DD Sunshine Youth, Martha Banda (Blantyre Zero), Mercy Sikelo (Ntopwa), Samir Amidu DD Sunshine.
Defenders-Towera Vinkhumbo (Blantyre Zero), Fatsireni Kazembe (Skippers), Patricia Nyirenda (Ntopwa), Maureen Phiri (CY Sisters), Chimwemwe Madise (Blantyre Zero), Emily Jossam (Skippers), Ruth Nyirongo (Skippers), Salome Vinkhumbo (Blantyre Zero), Sylvia Phiri (Ntopwa).
Midfielder-Wezzie Mvula (DD Sunshine), Chikondi Gondwe (CY Sisters), Zainabu Kapanda (Blantyre Zero), Madyna Nguluwe (DD Sunshine), Bridget Mkuzilire (DD Sunshine), Chimwemwe Bonongwe (Ntopwa), Fanny Mwale (DD Sunshine), Shira Dimba (Blantyre Zero), Sabina Thom (unattached)
Strikers-Asimenye Simwaka (Topik), Mary Chavinda (BT Zero), Loveness Nyakamera (Skippers), Linda Kasenda (Skippers), Enelecio Mhango (DD Sunshine), Tabitha (Jiangsu Suning, China), Temwa (Kvarnsverdens IK, Sweden).
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