Chakwera hosts 4 nations’ teams to dinner at Kamuzu Palace

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has highlighted football as a uniting factor among people of different backgrounds, stressing that the sport helps in sharing joys and sorrows of shared humanity.

Chakwera made the sentiments at the presidential dinner in honour of the football teams in the four nations tournament. The dinner took place at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Thursday evening.

The four teams include Kenya’s Harambee Stars, Zambia’s Chipolopolo, Zimbabwe and Malawi, as the host of the contest.

President Chakwera said people’s shared love of football is more than the enjoyment of sports and the winning of trophies, saying the sport plays a key role in connecting people beyond nationalities.

“Football breaks down barriers by showing us that the good things we desire and long for as people are the same that other people long for. Football unites people of different backgrounds to share in the joys and sorrows of our shared humanity. Football teaches us anatomy, strategy, symmetry, artistry, chivalry, camaraderie, integrity, humility, and generosity.

President Chakwera with FAM President Fleetwood Haiya

“Football provides a powerful metaphor and model for all of life, for we all know that to live in this world victoriously involves mastering the multiple skills of knowing the rules of life, tackling opposition to defend your values without being disqualified, playing with less players than others when you suffer fouls, taking the penalties of life with composure, avoiding the offside traps and own goals that can punish us when we lose concentration, healing our injuries and wounds to stay in the game long term, and being a team player. Football is also an excellent training ground for giving everything we’ve got to achieve our dreams and learning to rise from death and defeat when our dreams come crashing down, because we must not forget the words of Coach Thobejane, who famously said that football can kill you a real death,” he said.

At this point, President Chakwera emphasized the need for countries to make huge investments in the sport, stating that what a nation invests in its sports is a reflection of how much value that nation places on its health, its unity, its sense of identity, its youth, and its place in the global village.

He said his administration is determined to take all the sports disciplines in which the country has a competitive advantage to the next level, with football being one of them.

He said this is why sports development is part of Malawi’s human capital development strategy at the heart of the Malawi 2063 vision.

“This determination is the reason why the development of sporting facilities such as the Griffin Saenda Complex, the National Aquatic Centre, the various stadia we are currently constructing in multiple districts across all three regions of Malawi are projects we are pursuing with focus. This determination is also the reason why we are eager to host international sporting competitions like this Four Nations Tournament to strengthen our ties with other nations that we want to do business with for the growth of our economy. And we will stay on this path for as long as it takes until that day in the future when we will have the capacity to not just host a 4nations cup like this one, but a 24-nations cup like the Africa Cup of Nations,” said Chakwera.

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