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DESTINED FOR MALAWI—The Cosafa under-17 tournament

By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) has given Football Association of Malawi (Fam) until Friday this week to secure the government’s guarantee on hosting of the Cosafa Under-17 Championship from September 25 to October 4 in Blantyre.

Fam was granted the competition’s hosting rights in January this year during a Cosafa annual general meeting.

However, with less than a month before the competition’s kick-off, Cosafa has sounded alarm bells.

Cosafa Deputy General Secretary responsible for competitions, Suzgo Nyirenda, said the regional body expects Fam to fulfill its obligations.

“We expect Fam to give us a government guarantee before the end of this month. The guarantee is very important because it opens doors for Cosafa to come into the country. There are issues concerning government input in terms of how they will welcome us. We believe the guarantee shall be given to us so that we can move on.

“The good part is that Fam has sent an Organising Association Agreement which was supposed to come with the guarantee. We expect them to send us the guarantee which will mark the beginning of the competition. But we are in touch with Fam and we have done some ground work, so I am hopeful that the guarantee will be in place by Friday,” Nyirenda said.

Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, said the association was expecting to get the guarantee within the week.

“We already got a guarantee from the government but what is remaining is for them to sign documents which we will send to Cosafa. The deadline is Friday and we are working on it,” Gunda said.

Malawi National Council of Sports acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, said the government had already made official guarantees for hosting the tournament.

“What remains is for us to sign specific memoranda of understanding with Cosafa; otherwise, the guarantee was already made,” Mereka said.

This will be the first time for Malawi to host the regional youth championship since 2001 when the junior Flames beat South Africa 4-1 in the final.

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