According to a statement released by FAM and signed by the federation’s executive officer Alex Gift Gunda, the desicison was reached in a Executive Committee meeting held on Sunday.
As you may all recall, FAM, having earlier examined and identified the dire extent of the current gaps and shortfalls in the team, resolved that an experienced and well qualified expatriate coach be engaged.
Accordingly, a comprehensive proposal and justification was sent to the Government as the financiers. It was expected that the expatriate coach was going to drill our current crop of players to international levels for better performance of the team. It was also expected that the expatriate coach was going to provide mentorship to our local coaches with a view of them taking over the team at the expiry of his contract. As we are all aware, the proposal has been declined on the account of the current adverse economic situation that the country is facing.
The meeting also discussed a number of engagements that had been planned for the team notably the CHAN and Africa Cup of Nations competitions. During several rounds of consultations and discussions it was very clear that due the current economic problems, the Government will not be able to provide funding for the team for its participation in the above two tournaments.
It was also apparent that due to the current programs that FAM was implementing in infrastructure and technical development, women’s football, grassroots and youth football and others, it was not going to be possible either for FAM to bail out the current situation, as it has previously done on numerous occasions.
In view of the above developments, FAM would like to advise the general public and all its stakeholders that, after comprehensive discussions during the meeting, it was resolved as follows:
The immediate recruitment of the Malawi National Senior Football team coach be suspended until such a time that Government has adequate resources to fund such recruitment and also for the reasons outlined in (iii) below. The current huge gaps and shortfalls of our Senior National Football team can only be addressed through recruitment of a well-trained and highly experienced expatriate coach.
Being its core responsibility, FAM, with the support and funding from Fifa and Caf will intensify and dedicate all its efforts and resources towards football development programs. Special emphasis will be placed on coaching, grassroots and youth football.
“Accordingly, FAM will recruit a highly qualified and experienced Director of Football to lead these development programs. It is expected that the Director of Football is going to fully develop the game at the grassroots and youth level so that a strong Under 15, Under 17 and Under 20 National Football Team can be developed. These are expected to feed in the Senior National Football team as and when funding becomes available. It is further expected that the Director of Football is going to train and capacitate our local coaches for them to take over able responsibility for the Senior National Football team as and when it becomes active.
“Having considered all the available options, and in accordance with required notices for withdrawal, it was further resolved that the Malawi National Senior Football team be withdrawn from Chan Competition by 31st March, and from Afcon by 30th April 2017, due to lack of funding.
”FAM would like to inform the general public and all its stakeholders that it is fully aware of the negative implications including fines and suspension such withdrawal may attract. However, in its consideration, such withdrawal and its negative implications cannot be avoided looking at the current level of desperation that the Senior National Football team is in terms of funding and overall support.”