Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has cancelled national team training camp ahead of the upcoming Cosafa, Africa Cup of Nations and FIFA World Cup games due to Malawi Government’s failure to give a nod to resumption of sports in the country.
On Friday, the country’s soccer governing body conducted Covid-19 tests on local based players who were supposed to start their training on Monday in readiness for the upcoming Cosafa Cup games, 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in October and November respectively.
However, as the Association was awaiting for Government’s permission to resume sports on Monday, FAM was left in limbo as there was no communication from Government on the future of the game.
According to information at hand, FAM communicated with teams on Sunday to inform them about the development.
“Just want to communicate to Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers, Silver Strikers, Blue Eagles and Kamuzu Barracks officials that national camp training has been put on hold. Kindly inform your players. New arrangement will be communicated in due course,” reads the statement.
This is contrary to what Youth and Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama told the nation on sports resumption.
On Friday, Msungama told the local media that all was set for sports resumption in the country, saying the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 had given his ministry a nod to resume sports on Monday.
“I know Malawians have been waiting patiently to hear from Government on sports resumption but we couldn’t have just announced without following proper procedures. However, let me assure the nation that by Monday, sports is set to resume. We are finalizing everything with the relevant authorities and I am very hopeful that by the end of this week, we shall be able to officially announce the resumption of sports in the country,” he was quoted.
Surprisingly, it’s business as usual for Government as some Cabinet ministers are currently on a campaign trail for the upcoming Parliamentary and Local Government by-elections in five constituencies.
Over the weekend, Minister of Transport Sidik Mia was in Mangochi for a campaign rally whilst Msungama was seen in Blantyre a week ago welcoming an independent Member of Parliament John Bande into the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP).