Government is yet to give guarantee the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to host the 2019 under-17 Cosafa Championship which is set for next month in Blantyre despite regulations stating that this should be done at least three months before the event.
In the Cosafa tournament hosting regulations, article 2 states that the organizing association shall undertake to obtain the government guarantee which be submitted three months before the event.
“The organizing association shall undertake to obtain in timely manner all necessary government decrees, licenses, permits, grants, orders decisions and other acts required for the organization, staging and hosting of the tournaments in accordance with the agreement,” part 2.4 of the article reads.
Suzgo Nyirenda, Cosafa “deputy chief executive officer from Malawi said the guarantee assures that government will undertake to ensure smooth hosting of the event by providing essentials such as security, infrastructure, work permits, visas for those expected to participate in the tournament in various capacities as well as duty waivers for free import and export of equipment for the tournament.
“The signed government guarantee and the signed organizing association agreement [OAA] must be handed over to Cosafa at least three months before the tournament. But this exercise starts at least a year before the tournaments and Cosafa provides all details, budgets and requirements to host a particular competition. Three months before the tournaments, these documentations should be ready,” he said.
Walter Nyamiland the FAMs president was confident that the guarantee will be ready soon.
“We have been assured by Ministry [of Youth Sports and Culture] that the guarantee will be issued and the minister has taken it up personally. The delays are largely due to the current turbulent working environment, otherwise it will be issued,” he said.
The host nation also has contributions to make though Cosafa will foot some of the expenses for hosting the tourney.
Commitments are to be mate that Cosafa will undertake to finance the tournament and there are areas also for the host nation. As hosts, like any participating member, we will incur cost in scouting and training of the team and general admistrative cost, planning and preparations for the team.
“Further to that, from the LOC [Local Organizing Committee], other subcommittees have been established for various lines which will include but not limited to marketing, media, hospitality, security, refereeing technical, volunteers etc. The subcommittees will, above all, need to meet and plan and execute assignments and also cover some defined costs prescribed by regulations,” said FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda.
Henry Mereka, Acting executive officer of Malawi National Council of Sports said the ministry is ready o help FAM host a successful tournament.
“It’s a pride to host the tournament and as government we are committed to sponsoring the event so that FAM can deliver. We will be meeting them next Monday to discuss the budget. We understand that when hosting such a tournament Cosafa has its role to play and us as hosts, we also have a contribution to make. So, we will hear from them what is required. But as government we gave them a green light to hosts the event and we will support them all the way,” he said.
Sports Council is expected to use K660 million it got from the provisional National Budget to bankroll FAM’s programmes as well as those of other 40 associations in the next three months.
However, Mereka also noted that the challenge was that a number of programmes are falling in the first quarter of the financial year; hence, the challenge of funding.
“The challenge is indeed that all competitions are coming in the first quarter. We have World Cup, Afcon, Under-17, Wormless Olympic qualifiers and All Africa Games, all at the same time and that means we will be overstretched,” he said.