South Africa-based Malawian Major Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has reconsidered his decision to offer to bail out and bankroll financially crippled Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to enable the national football team, the Flames, participate in international tournaments, saying his goodwill has been politicised.
Bushiri, who is president of South African based Shephered Bushiri Investments (SBI) and head of Enlightened Church Gathering (ECG) Ministries, made his offer after FAM publicly announced pulling out of the 2018 CHAN and 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) competitions.
But the ‘Major 1’ said since his announcement was made, other people have politicised the goodwill.
“In Malawi we have a tendency to politicise everything. As a proud Malawian I wanted to help the national team and also save football from collapsing as part corporate social responsibility of Shephered Bushiri investments,” said Bushiri.
Bushiri said President Peter Mutharika encourages “patriotism” and he thought it wise to assist the Flames and ensure that they take part in Afcon and Chan in spirit of patriotism.
He said it has always been his wish to help the national team since it carries the Malawi flag through its participation in various international football competitions.
This is evidenced by his financial assistance rendered last year when he presented a cheque of over K40 Million to enable the Flames fulfil its Afcon qualifying assignments.
But FAM said now Flames will take part in the continental competitions as there is a renewed commitment from government on the issue of funding, according Walter Nyamilandu the president of the football governing body.
And in a statement, the association further states that there have been a number of discussions with government, Fifa and other international partners as well as well-wishers on the possible participation in the two competitions.
“It has become apparent in these discussions that there is obvious concern from government, our partners and well-wishers on the prospect of the team’s withdrawal from the above competitions. Accordingly, some form of commitments and assurances have been made on the financial support for the team in these two competitions, in the short-term, and its future programmes, in the long-term.”