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Flames’ trip to Ethiopia in limbo

BLANTYRE(MaraviPost)—Malawi national football team, is likely to miss the away game against Ethiopia on November 9 in the African Cup of Nations as the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has disclosed that they do not have enough in their coffers to fund the trip.

According to The Nation Newspaper, FAM has resolved to further engage government on the prospects of securing more supplementary funding to enable the Flames travel to Ethiopia for their last Group B qualifiers.

“Having negotiated for advance sponsorship from the Flames official sponsors Carlsberg Malawi, which enabled the team to fulfill the away fixture against Algeria, the executive committee was briefed that they [Carlsberg] cannot give us the whole funding meant for next year on logistical and marketing grounds.

“So the resolution was that we should further engage government and if it does not work, then we’ll have no choice but to pull out because we cannot manage to source funding for the Ethiopia game,” said the source as quoted by The Nation.

However, Malawi National Sports executive secretary George Jana on Friday said government has made its position plain that there will be no further supplementary funding.

Commenting on the same, one of the Flames’ supporters identifying himself as Charles Nkwichi said chances that government will provide supplementary funding are very slim considering the performance of the team.

“I wish government would heed the FAM’s request but with the performance of our team I don’t think government will be motivated to fund,” he said.

Malawi is having a poor run in the Afcon. The team lost to Algeria at Kamuzu Stadium by two goals to nil before being hammered three nil by the same team few days later. They also lost to Mali and have only managed to secure a victory over Ethiopia.

The poor performance was the factor which made Malawi to move down with 11 steps on the latest FIFA rankings.

The Flames are scheduled to host Mali on November 15 before travelling to Ethiopia for their last Group B qualifier on November 19.

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