Man of the moment, South Africa based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri on Friday made an impromptu trip to Malawi to donate K44 million to the Malawi national football team after being approached by the cash-strapped Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
Leader and founder of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church, Bushiri, arguably richest person in Malawi made the donation on Friday at the Mpira Village in Blantyre.
The ‘Major 1’ said he made donation to show patriotism to his country and for the passion he has for the game of football.
“I was approached by the coach and other officials to help the team. In spirit of patriotism I saw it befitting to help the national team,” said Bushiri.
He said in a long term plan, he is looking developing the game of football in Malawi, hinting on plans of setting up a football academy in the country like the one he established in South Africa.
Bushiri pledged to promote talent and enhance youth potential.
Speaking to reporters with FAM officials, Bushiri said he is committed to Malawi football development and it is his wish to see a strong national team.
“I am a fan of football and outside my calling, I enjoy watching soccer. I did not hastate to come to Malawi for the donation when the national team coach called me to ask for help. I believe the little I have done will help our dearest team,” explained Bushiri.
He jokingly outlined that his support was not an indication of miracle win ahead.
“Let me say it here that am not supporting the team because of the games ahead, am doing so because I want us to build a strong team, otherwise do not even ask me to prophesy about the game. I do that on my pulpit in church. When God speaks to me, I will talk about it in church,” explained Bushiri in a very cheerful mood.
Pledging further, Bushiri promised more support towards football, citing financial help to FAM’S Sports Academy.
“I will consult with the ministry of sports and see how best we can help improve standards of football in Malawi and I believe we will work together towards improving the current sports academy,” he said.
In South Africa, Bushiri has also taken a leading role in helping young stars following the introduction of Shepherd Bushiri Sports Academy that has already exported talent to Europe.
FAM secretary general Suzgho Nyirenda said Bushiri’s donation is “a massive boost” to the Flames as they had a shortfall of about K45 million ahead of their Guinea trip.
Meanwhile, Flames coach Ernest Mtawali on Friday 18th March, 2016 announced the final squad expected to travel to Guinea for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) match scheduled to take place on 25th March, 2016.
The squad was revealed at the Mpira House in Blantyre.
Surprisingly, Mtawali has dropped experienced goalkeepers Charles Swini and Simplex Nthala who plays for GD HCB Songo and Vilanculo in Mozambique respectively.
He has however opted for upcoming and inexperienced Brighton Munthali and John Soko of Blue Eagles.
Mtawali has also dropped Gerald Phiri Jnr who plays for Township Rollers in Botswana and Robbin Ngalande for Platinum Stars in South Africa.
The coach has dropped Be Forward Wanderers forward Jabulani Linje, Dan Msimuko of Civo, Dalitso Sailesi, Ernest Kakhobwe of Bullets and Pilirani Zonda of Bullets as well who has been injured.
The Flames leaves the country on Sunday via Ethiopia where they will spend a night before connecting to Sierra Leone on Monday where they will have a strength testing match on Tuesday.
They will fly to Guinea through Ghana immediately after their friendly match.
The Flames face Guinea on 25th March at exactly 16:40hrs according to information posted on Fam website.
The team will return home through the same route on 26th March, 2016.
They face Guinea in a return leg at the giant Kamuzu Stadium on 29th March, 2016.
Below is the full squad travelling to Guinea:
Goalkeepers: Brighton Munthali and John Soko.
Defenders: Limbikani Mzava, Stanly Sanudi, Francis Mlimbika, Miracle Gabeya, Wonderful Jeremani, Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi, Harry Nyirenda.
Midfielders: Chimango Kaira, Joseph Kamwendo, Robert Ng’ambi, Micium Mhone, John Banda and Isaac Kaliati.
Strikers:Chiukepo Msowoya, Gabadinho Mhango, Zicco Mkanda and Schumacher Kuwali.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :