Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has officially launched the 2016 Under-20 women’s cup which will be played in the four cities of Malawi.
The function took place at Mpira Village in Chiwembe on Thursday afternoon in the presence of Women’s Football Association (WFA) President Slivelia Chalira and representatives from various secondary schools.
The competition, which is worth K14 million, will start at the district level where winners will progress to the national level of the competition.
FAM’ executive member Daud Mtanthiko said the association will try its level best in promoting women’s football in the country.
“With the help from FIFA, our association will try its best in promoting women’s football in the country by coming up with various programs.
“FAM Cup’ main objective is to bridge the gap between the junior developmental levels like the grassroots and Under-17 Airtel Rising Stars championship and the senior club level as one way of developing women’s game in the country so as an association, we will continue sourcing funds for the development of women’s football in the country,” he explained.
Despite the recent success, Mtanthiko was quick to highlight some of the challenges encountered during previous competitions.
“Some of the games were being officiated by untrained referees but recently, FAM organized a referees’ course for women teams which has helped to create a big pool of women football referees thus improving the quality of the competition.
“Poor administration by some administrators in some areas was also a very big problem but FAM embarked on an administration training which has improved the administrative part of the competition,” said Mtanthiko.
And speaking on behalf of her association, Chalira said the decision to have the league played in the cities was to improve the level of competition between the teams.
She added that her association decided to introduce the competition because some of the players who have been in the competition for quite some time are now aging hence the need to have them replaced.
“We have also decided to take the competition to cities because we want the level of competition to continue because teams that will take part in this cup are also actively involved in other competitions as well so we are not sidelining the rural areas but we just want the players to continue where they stopped from other competitions,” she said.
City champions will walk away with a trophy plus cash worth K500,000 while national level champion will be given K1 million plus a trophy for becoming the winner.
Apart from FAM Cup, there is also a regional league sponsored by the association to the tune of K2.5 million per region, Donnas Eggs Cup which is at K8 million, and the Presidential Cup worth K8 million as well.
The competition will have 19 teams from the Northern Region, 13 teams each from Southern and Central Regions while Eastern Region will contribute 11 teams.