Minister of Sports and Youth Development Enoch Chihana has said Government is committed to ensuring football development in the country as evidenced by its recent move to deploy former national coach Kinnha Phiri and his deputies to be Regional Sports Officers in the country’s three regions.
Chihana said this in parliament on Tuesday as a response to a question from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Mchinji North East Alex Chitete who asked the ministry to consider employing district sports officers as was the case in the past.
Chitete said national football team is struggling to make strides due to the untapped talent that is being left unattended to in the rural areas that could well make a difference in the national team if given a chance.
“It seems like the concentration of football development has concentrated on the central level while ignoring the districts which can prove equally useful if properly exploited. If you talk of great names like Kinnah Phiri and the Jack Chamangwana’s all came through the system while playing for their district teams,” said Chitete.
Responding to the question, Chihana said as a ministry their job mainly revolves around policy but the strategizing and everyday running operations are the responsibility of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
‘As Government some of these things do not fall within our jurisdiction we just come in as an overseer, but then you cannot fault our commitment towards football development as evidenced by a number of interventions we have made like the deployment of Regional Sports Officers recently,” said the Sports Minister.
After the national team coaching panel led by Kinnah Phiri was relieved of its duties government through FAM made announcements that they have sent Kinnah to the northern region, Young Chimodzi to the central region and Jack Chamangwana in the southern region.
“We have strategically placed these people alongside district sports officers whom we have also recently deployed to help in talent identification to act as a feeder to the clubs in the top league in the hope that they can eventually make it to the national team,” said Chihana.