In a bid to establish a strong foundation base for the country’s ailing national soccer teams, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has introduced an Inter-City Under 14 football tournament that is expected to culminate into formation of an U-14 National Football Team.
Outlining the initiative in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, Fam’s technical director Captain John Kaputa said the competition will involve primary schools from the country’s four cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu.
He said primary schools from the four cities would compete in a round robin format from zonal up to district level before forming city select teams, which will face each other to identify the champion.
During the city-versus-city games, Kaputa said Fam would select best players to form the National Under 14 side.
The Fam technical director further disclosed that there would be a refereeing course for under 14 boys and girls during the school holiday in December this year aimed at identifying young referees, who will handle the rest of the games in the tournament.
“At the meantime, we will be using the existing adult referees but after the December
course, the young ones will take over the show up to the final stage.
“The idea is that when these young ones reach the age of 20, they will have already reached Fifa level. Apart from forming a strong foundation base for the national teams, we also want to have a pool of qualified referees in the near future,” he said.
According to the Kaputa, there will be launching ceremonies for the programme in each of the four cities with the northern city of Mzuzu setting the pace with a grand launch at Mzuzu Stadium on Friday, October 17, 2014.
Meanwhile, Fifa has reportedly pumped in US $10,000 (About MK4 million) into the project with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology committing a $7,500 (About MK3 million) into the project’s pilot phase.
Fam says it is looking forward to more contributions from well wishers for successful implementation of the pilot phase, after which the body expects to roll out a national programme.