Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu Manda has applauded President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for advancing policy directions that have resulted in the development of sports, especially football, in Malawi.
Manda disclosed that football has delivered results over the past three Chakwera has been in office.
He made the sentiments at the Kamuzu Palace where the Head of State hosted the women’s national football team – the Scorchers – to a luncheon in celebration of the win the team achieved at the 2023 COSAFA Women’s Football Championship.
“Mr President, at Football Association of Malawi, we believe in your ideas on national development and we are pleased that under your administration, football has delivered results. Within the past three years, we have seen the Flames going to the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon where the team reached the round of 16,” said Nyamilandu Manda.
He added that within the three years, we have seen Beach Soccer Malawi participating for the first time in the African Cup of Nations tournament which was played in Mozambique.
During the same period, Malawi has also seen youths from Salima Secondary School finishing third at the CAF African Schools Championship played in South Africa.
And after years of hard work, in 2021, Malawi made a maiden appearance in Cosafa Cup where it reached the final.
“However, we failed to get gold. But we did not give up. We regrouped, set targets and continued the fight. Yet, Mr President, our steadfastness comes in the backdrop of a host of challenges affecting growth of women football,” he said, lamenting that like in many parts of the world, women football in Malawi suffers from the primary challenge of investment discrimination.
Nyamilandu Manda observed that there has not been any significant interest from both the public and private sector to support the game.
According to him, it has been FAM, which has been supporting the Scorchers singlehandedly, including paying salary for the coach.
At this point, the FAM president asked President Chakwera’s government to consider investing in women football, stressing that women football is no longer a sideline event.
“It a centre-stage activity that has proven to be capable of bringing pride, prestige and unity to the nation, just as men’s football and netball do. But this can only be achieved through adequate and long-term investment.
“It is our hope that both your government and the private sector will seize the opportunities which women football presents and support the Scorchers,” said Nyamilandu Manda.
Meanwhile, President Chakwera has given each player and their team officials K1.5 million and a plot in Lilongwe as one way of motivating the women.