BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s soccer governing body, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) risks paying MK8 million as a penalty for its decision to pull out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
FAM’s decision to pull out of the continental tournament, will also result in the national flag carrier, the Flames being excluded from taking part in the 2023 AFCON competition.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) regulations stipulates that when national teams withdraw from its qualifiers after and before the draw, risk being punished with the penalty and seclusion action.
CAF’s Chapter 27, Article 58 outlines that any national association declaring forfeit after the drawing of lots and before the start of matches, is liable to a fine of US$10,000 (MK8 million).
On Sunday, FAM dropped the bombshell announcing that it will withdraw Flames from participation in both the 2019 AFCON and the 2018 Champion of African Nations (CHAN) due to lack of funds.
The football governing body went further and suspended the recruitment of the national team’s couch until such a time that government has adequate resources to fund the recruitment.
To participate in two competitions, FAM would need MK200 million, and earn some money from gate collections and broadcasting rights. The association has already exhausted its MK39 million funding for 2016/2017 financial year.
But the decision to pull out from the continental tourney has not gone down well with Minister of Labor, Sports and Manpower Development, Henry Mussa who argues that the move has been done in hastily and without thorough consultations.
Mussa observed that FAM’s final decision on the matter could have been made after consulting the parent ministry. The minister said his office expected to work on the resolutions before issuing a press statement.
But soccer commentator George Kaudza Masina lauded FAM for the move, and said it was one of the wisest decisions to make considering the lack of political will towards the national team with the Flames taking part in the tournaments just for the sake of participating.