Malawi under-20 national team Tuesday received a warm welcome on its return from Angola, where it defeated the hosts 4-1 on Sunday to make it to the final qualifying round of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, and Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Francis Kasaila, were among the high-profile officials who welcomed the team upon touch down at Chileka Airport, Blantyre, at 3:10pm.
Jubilant fans chanted as the junior Flames, who overturned a 1-2 home loss to Angola in the first-leg, were led to a press conference at the VIP section.
Coach Meke Mwase said, with sound preparations, his charges can beat South Africa in the final round and qualify for the Niger finals.
Nyamilandu pledged that, if the team qualifies for the Niger finals, it will camp in Spain.
“We saw it necessary to reward the team after performing wonders in Angola by this heroes’ welcome. There are no funds at the moment but we are speaking with the government to support the team. If they qualify for the competition, we will make sure that they camp in Spain. What we want is that we should expose them so that they should sign contracts in Europe,” Nyamilandu said.
Kasaila promised the government’s support towards the team.
“We feel proud that a team that many did not give a chance of progressing in the competition has done it. We promise our commitment to the team. The team needs motivation and encouragement. We will do our best, depending on availability of resources, to support the team. But if they qualify, we will make sure that the President [Peter Mutharika] should host the team at the State House,” Kasaila said.
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