Malawi football turns 50 in 2013

The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said it has started planning for next year’s Flames Golden Jubilee celebrations.

FAM commercial manager Casper Jangale confirmed the development on Tuesday, saying the association is inviting suggestions from the public on how best the event can be celebrated.

The Flames first graced the international stage in 1962 when they suffered a devastating 12-0 demolition at the hands of Ghana’s Black Stars.

Some of the players who featured for Malawi in that historic game were Richard Banda [retired Chief Justice], Roy Kalitsiro and Stanley Bweya. The Black Stars had the likes of  Ben Kouffie and Charles Oddo Odametey.

“On October 15 2012, our beloved Flames will clock 50 years. The first game was played on October 15 1962 when Ghana beat Flames 12-0. Your suggestions on how best we can celebrate this feat are welcome,” wrote Jangale on the social network Mpira ku Malawi.

Most of the members suggested that an international friendly match between the Flames and the Black Stars would be ideal to celebrate the event.

McDonald Aseleka Saidi wrote: “Let’s play Ghana again with the heroes [the pioneer Flames] watching from the terraces.”

Jangale said it would be possible to organise a friendly and will  forward the suggestion to the executive board of FAM.

“There are several brilliant suggestions that are coming up and the response is quite encouraging. In fact, we have already started preliminary discussions on how best to celebrate the event and they include voting for the best 20 players that Malawi has had in the past 50 years as was the case with CAF. We could also hold a dinner dance,” he said.

Celebrated former Flames stars Kinnah Phiri and Yasin Osman described FAM’s plans to hold golden jubilee celebrations as a welcome development.

Said Kinnah: “We could honour some of the players that played in that game at that event. I also feel that an international friendly match against Ghana would be ideal.”

In the 50 years, Malawi has won the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup thrice (1978, 79 and 88) and has only qualified for the continental Africa Cup of Nations twice (1984 and 2010). The Flames also qualified for All Africa Games twice (1977 and 1987).

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