For the first time in Malawi history, Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has received more funding from government than their football counterparts—Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) executive secretary George Jana confirmed to The Nation on Tuesday that NAM has been allocated K101 million, K1 million more than FAM’s allocation (K100 million) for the current financial year.
But while the netball governing body has received what they proposed, FAM has been allocated K403 million less than what was contained in their proposed budget to government through Sports Council.
Nevertheless, this year’s funding represents a 233 percent increase for NAM who were allocated K30 million last year, while FAM have received K30 million more compared to last year’s allocation (43 percent jump).
Asked to justify council’s decision to allocate K400 million less to FAM compared to their proposed budget when NAM has been allocated the actual funding they asked for, Jana said: “At the end of the day, FAM has got the ability to attract additional funding such as gate collections, Fifa subventions and generally they are also more creative in terms of generating more income while with NAM it is literally nothing.”
The Sports Council boss said NAM has already exhausted K70 million of its funding through the Queens’ recent participation in the 2015 Netball World Cup held in Australia, “and the remainder is strictly for development programmes.”
The third biggest beneficiary this year, according to Jana, is Special Olympics who were allocated K18 million, but the bulk of it was used for their participation in the US Special Olympic Games recently.
Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) and Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) have been allocated K3 million and K2 million respectively.
Jana said they expect associations to prioritise in the participation of various international programmes.
Reacting to the development, FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said: “It might not be enough, but this is a very good gesture. It is a timely boost as we prepare for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Already we have spent about K105 million from our own initiatives.
“We are hoping to top up with the sponsorship we get from Carlsberg, gate revenue, sale of replica jerseys, broadcasting rights and perimeter advertising. We always try to generate income and that is why we offer 70 percent of the players’ allowances and bonus while 30 percent comes from government,” he said.
However, both FAM and NAM said they were yet to be communicated to on this year’s funding.
Apart from World Cup and Afcon qualifiers, Malawi will also take part in Cosafa Cup, Cosafa Under-20 and Cosafa Women’s Tournament.
When asked for reaction NAM president Rosy Chinunda said: “We are very grateful to government for appreciating our challenges, this is the first time this has happened and we hope it is just the beginning of good things.”n