Malawi government has, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, engaged the private sector in an attempt to raise K50 million (about $200 000) to ensure that the Flames succeed in both the World Cup and African Nations Cup campaigns.
“The money is not part of the government subvention to Football Association of Malawi (FAM). We plan to raise it for the welfare of the players and the technical panel. We realise that sometimes the players are unable to give their best on the pitch because they face hardships in their homes,” said Sports Minister Enock Chihana.
He said once the welfare of players is taken care of, the players will be motivated to give their best for the national cause.
“We are dating companies and appealing for their help like it is the norm in other countries where the private sector supports national football teams. Companies should chip in something towards the Flamesâ€™ cause. Football is part of national development and unites the country,” he said.
Chihana said President Joyce Banda has passion for sports and wants the Flames to succeed, but government cannot take care of all the teamâ€™s needs alone, it requires collective effort from the corporate world.
“I am personally heading a team from my ministry courting companies to contribute something to the Flames. It is high time the national team had multiple sponsors. We want to raise over K50 million (about $200 000) in this exercise,” he said.
The new drive comes after Chihana also pledged houses for Flames players.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu shares Chihanaâ€™s vision of seeing companies coming back to support the Flames.
“Elsewhere, companies share responsibilities for the national teams. Some are responsible for food and accommodation, some allowances and expenses of air travel while others take care of equipment. We need such sponsorship for the national teams,” said Nyamilandu.