Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) has given FAM this Friday as deadline to submit a guarantee from government on hosting the Under-17 tournament slated for next month in Blantyre.
Cosafa deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said failure to do so will result in the issue being referred to Cosafa disciplinary body and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and risks sanctions which include a hefty fine of $200 000 (about K150 million) and a one-year ban.
“Actually, FAM was supposed to submit the guarantee by last week, but up to now we haven’t received the document.
“So, we will give them up to the end of the week,” he said.
However, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda played down the issue, saying government already made a commitment and what remains is for it to sign the guarantee form.
“Basically, an approval was made and it was sent to Cosafa and what remains is just filling the form which we are waiting for.
“To that effect, we will be making a follow-up,” he said.
Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture spokesperson Simon Mbvundula said they hope to finalise the process before the cut-off point.
“We are in the process of doing that and hopefully by close of business today or tomorrow, we will make that declaration.
“As government, we are committed to meeting our responsibilities such as providing infrastructure and safety for the guests. We will fully support the tournament,” he said.
Malawi could face isolation from Cosafa competitions or pay $200 000 fine (K150 million) as it is the case with Zimbabwe who failed to host the 2018 senior men Cosafa tournament.
According to www.chronicle.co.zw, Cosafa wrote Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) in June this year to impose the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“In its letter of suspension, Cosafa said Zifa ought to have complied with the terms of the suspensive verdict by June 30 2019.
“The $200 000 fine must be paid by August 15 2019, failing which all representative national sides will also be barred from contesting in all Cosafa tournaments,” reads the report in part.
Article 2 of the Cosafa tournament hosting regulations states that the organising association shall undertake to obtain the government guarantee which should be submitted three months before the event.
“The organising association shall undertake to obtain in timely manner all necessary government decrees. Licences, orders, decisions, and other acts required for the organisation, staging and hosting of the tournament,” reads part of article 2.4.
In an interview with Nation Online, Malawi National Council of Sports acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said the ministry is ready to help FAM host a successful tournament.
“We understand that when hosting such a tournament Cosafa has role to play and as hosts, we also have a contribution to make. So, we will hear from them what is required,” Mereka was quoted as saying.
FAM is also keeping its fingers crossed on the K150 million budget required to host the tournament.