FAM has said it expects a rough ride in the current financial year having been tipped that they will be allocated K70 million (US$170 316) from government against their proposed K600 million (US$1 459 854) budget.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda has also said as of yesterday, they were yet to get K50 million funding from government for the Flames’ 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final preliminary round games against Benin.
The Flames are scheduled to depart this Friday for Uganda en route to Benin for the July 20 first leg.
The return leg is slated for August 2.
“We are hearing rumours that we will again be allocated K70 million again this financial year. This is a drop in ocean considering the senior and Under-20 programmes that we have.
“Already, the budget for the Benin games are projected at K50 million, which means we could be left with only K20 million to cover the other engagements. Furthermore, in the event that the senior team qualifies for the group stages and the Under-20 teams also qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Youth Championship, then it will be disastrous,” said Nyirenda.
He said if Flames qualify to the group stages, they will be required to play six games against Algeria, Mali and Ethiopia home and away and they will require about K250 million.
“As for the junior team, the budget is in the excess of K150 million and K70 million is insufficient if we are serious about continuing in the two tournaments. So, there is need for resources,” he said.
Regarding the Benin trip, the FAM CEO said: “We have been talking to senior Ministry of Sports and Sports Council officials. We hope that funding will be released, but as today [Tuesday] there is no response.”
He said they are keeping their fingers crossed that funding will be released in good time so as to pay for the team’s return air travel that includes foreign-based players.
Nyirenda said the k50 million budget for the Benin is justifiable: “My friend, a return air ticket to Benin costs K817 000 and we are talking of a delegation which comprises 25 people or so. We also have to pay the players’ local and external allowances, accommodation, food and local transport for the visiting team in the return leg as well as match officials’ allowances.”
FAM has already used K50 million meant for this year from the Flames’ official sponsor, Carlsberg Malawi.
He said the foreign-based players are expected to join the team in Uganda on Saturday and Sunday.
While not confirming Nyirenda’s claims, Sports Council executive secretary George Jana said the assumption is that associations will be allocated what they got last year.
And on the Flames funding for Benin trip, Jana said: “They are looking for K50 million and we are talking to government. We have not had a response yet, but indications are that the money will be released,” said Jana.