MNCS, Executive Secretary, George Jana disclosed that the decision has been made to postpone the tournament which is the country’s prestigious football event because it is impossible to stage it in the remaining two months of the year.
January was the original calendar for Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) Programme when it was inaugurated few years ago.
“We only have two months before we conclude the year and I very much doubt if the football tournament will be held this year because we have already made a suggestion to government that the PIS programmes should start in January,” explained Jana.
He told the country’s Online Daily the Nation published Monday that the proposal to shift the event to January has been made to ensure that PIS programmes should be in tune with the associations’ programmes.
But he was quick to concede that the discussions with government who sponsors the tournament on shifting the event to early next year have not been finalised.
“This has been done so that the PIS should be in line with the associations’ programmes. However, we are yet to finalise discussions with government on the proposal to change the calendar,” added Jana.
The failure by the Malawi FA to organise the tournament this year has been caused because K22 million of the K60 million allocation for the event was diverted to fund the national soccer team trip to Nigeria where it went to fulfil 2014 World Cup qualifier September last year.
Malawi national soccer team had at the time exhausted its budgetary allocation and wasc on the brink of forfeiting Nigeria fixture which was the last assignment of the group’s qualifiers.
Failure to fulfil the Nigeria trip would have attracted punitive sanctions from World soccer governing body FIFA.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM), President Walter Nyamilandu Manda has said that the FA has no problems with the proposed arrangement.
“We are implementers of the sponsorship and if they say the tournament will start early next year then we have no choice and we will go according to government decision,” said Nyamilandu.
But, Harold Fote, secretary general for Big Bullets, the country’s prominent soccer club expressed dissatisfaction with the latest development which he said has disturbed his club plans.
“We feel robbed because we bought a number of players to compete in such tournaments,” said Fote.
Following the latest development the country’s FA will forfeit the remaining K38 million which was allocated to this year’s PIS soccer tournament.