Members of Parliament on Wednesday ganged up against Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga asking him to increase allocation to Football Association of Malawi (Fam) so that the national team prepares for tournaments adequately.
Rumphi North MP Tasokwa Msiska queried the slight increase to the Ministry of Sports and Youth budget from the approved K448 million to a revised K722 million saying it was too little considering government had hired coaches in the interim.
However, the K230 million increase, is going towards construction of the new stadium in Lilongwe and continued rehabilitation of Kamuzu Stadium.
Msiska said the national football team should not be blamed for poor performance when government allocates little resources for preparations.
“When the team is blamed for poor performance, the blame is shifted to Malawi National Council of Sports but we need to invest for the team to do its best. The funds allocated are never enough for team preparations such as friendly games so that the team performs to the expectations of Malawians,” Msiska said.
Flames are expected to play a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Namibia on March 23.
Lilongwe East MP Ezekiel Ching’oma wondered if the slight increase to the Sports budget includes remunerations for the new coaches Eddie Ng’onamo, Patrick Mabedi and Ernest Mtawali.
He also wondered when government plans to invest in netball infrastructure; a sport he said had put Malawi on the world map.
The previous government promised to construct an indoor netball court in Blantyre but the current government has not put this project in its plans.
In response to the queries, Lipenga said salaries for the interim coach and allocations to preparations for the national team were under National Council of Sports which fell under the Subventions vote 275.
The council told the media that it had approved a supplementary budget, about K50 million, for use up to June.
This will be confirmed once Parliament approves the allocation to Sports Council this week.