Impressed by Malawi national women’s football team’s performance in CAF 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers, Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) has dangled a carrot to the team if it qualifies for the third round.
The women’s football team got a $36 000 ( K27 million) grant from MOC for the first and second round preparations.
MOC president Oscar Kanjala said the team will get a bigger grant from the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Anoca) if they make it to the third round.
“The women’s football team needs to outclass Kenya in the imminent two-legged tie and we will make them smile,” said Kanjala.
Previously, local athletes in various sports disciplines have been failing to go past the second-round of Olympics qualifiers, which is the penultimate round, prompting the country’s flag-carriers to participate in the prestigious global event on solidarity.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda said they owed MOC to the team’s success in the first round.
“MOC’s grant is strictly for preparations, which means, as FAM we had to concentrate on other expenses such as travel and accommodation. MOC has been bankrolling the team’s preparations against Mozambique,” he said.
On the promise for another grant, Gunda welcomed the development, saying the first grant would not last the third round.
“We already spent much of the first grant in the first qualifier,” he said.
Malawi captain China-based Tabitha Chawinga said all will depend on better preparations ahead of the Kenya encounter.
“We need at least an international friendly to prepare well for Kenya, which is a much tougher opponent than Mozambique. Previously, we tuned up with some friendly games against local men’s youth teams and it would be disastrous if we do the same ahead of our next encounter,” she said.
On the national team’s request for international friendly, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said they would do their best to arrange the best preparations for the girls.
“We are certainly going to prepare well against Kenya. We are working on the modalities and we will announce our plans in due course,” he said.
After dismissing Mozambique 14-1 on aggregate (11-1 and 3-0) in the first-round of qualifiers, Malawi have a tough task to get rid of Kenya ranked 138 by Fifa, in the second round.