FIFA president’s Malawi trip cancelled: Jet couldn’t land at Chileka Airport

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has confirmed an eleventh hour postponement of the visit to Malawi by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. until further notice because the private jet flying him and his entourage couldn’t land at Chileka International Airport due to the ongoing rehabilitation works on the main runway.

Blatter visited in 2002 to inaugurate what is now known as Mpira Village
Fifa president Infantino: Malawi trip cancelled at eleventh hour

A statement from general secretary of the FAM, Alfred Gunda, says after carrying out a full assessment of the secondary runway, an advanced FIFA aviation team ruled out at the last minute that they couldn’t take a chance to land at Chileka Airport for safety reasons.

“Alternative efforts to have the plane land at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe and use other means to transport the delegation to Blantyre were not successful due to the tight schedule of the FIFA President, who was expected to arrive in the country at 2pm and leave at 7pm for Democratic Republic of Congo.

“In light of this unfortunate development, FAM is closely collaborating with FIFA on rescheduling the visit to an earliest convenient date,” Gunda says.

Infantino, who is accompanied by Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad; his special advisor Samuel Eto’o as well as former French international attacking midfielder Youri Djorkaeff, started their African tour in Madagascar on Monday and were in Mozambique on Tuesday where they were to proceed to Malawi.

Gunda said though this is not the outcome they expected, FAM is sincerely grateful for the confidence that FIFA has shown in earmarking Malawi as one of the destinations for their next tour of Africa.

“We remain hopeful that this will materialize having received the assurance from FIFA.

“FAM sincerely regrets any inconvenience this may cause knowing fully well that soccer loving Malawians and the general public were excited with the visit,” Gunda said in the statement issued on Wednesday, November 27.

During his visit, Infantino was expected — among other matters — to inaugurate FAM’s Mpira Stadium and its youth development academy.

There was also supposed to be a ceremonial match involving Malawi Legends against the team of FIFA/FAM officials that was to include Infantino himself, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu, Eto’o, Djorkaeff — the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 winner — who is now the FIFA Foundation CEO.

The country’s former football maestro, Ernest ‘Wire’ Mtawali, was expected to lead the team of former Flames greats that included stars such as Patrick Mabedi, Chancy Gondwe, Swadick Sanudi, Joseph Kamwendo, Fischer Kondowe, among others.

Legendary coach Kinnah Phiri was to be in charge of the FIFA/FAM team with Yasin Osman for the Flames Legends.

One big anticipation fans had for the event was to see Eto’o first hand, who has never been in the Cameroon team the Flames have played with both at home and away.

Fans were eager to see the African football legend, who is the two-time African Cup of Nations champion; a three-time UEFA Champions League winner and one-time Olympic Games champion.

The match was to be one of the activities that was lined up for Infantino’s visit, whose main objective was to some of the projects which are being funded under his FIFA Forward initiative.

This is not the first visit of a FIFA president — former boss Sepp Blatter visited in 2002 to inaugurate the construction of what is now known as Mpira Village at Chiwembe in Limbe, which was under funding from his FIFA Goal Project.

Nyamilandu carried on with the project to what it is as a complex that has offices, a gym, accommodation hostels and the Mpira Stadium.

Meanwhile, FAM says it is closely collaborating with FIFA on rescheduling the visit to an earliest convenient date.

Still more, FAM says it is grateful for the confidence FIFA has shown in earmarking Malawi as one of the destinations for their next tour of Africa.

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Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
2 years ago

Kikikikiiiiiiii, when did they know about these airport issues?

mbudya
2 years ago

Lego
Mau mau mau…….mmm ziliko

Lego
2 years ago

To me its a blessing because Walter Nyamilandu wanted to use this FIFA President as a campaign tool for this coming FAM elections.GOD for all has answered our prayers.

mbudya
2 years ago

Ndege yachita ka ‘Suleman jiggy” mmm

Piper
Piper
2 years ago

Chileka has been in rehabilitation state forever. Nobody asks questions. SAA refused to land at Chileka some months ago and surprisingly nothing has changed ! Just how does the government award these contracts? What a government we have !!!

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
2 years ago

pitala featured himself with a UK homeless man at sanjika thinking amutapila from his company of a self assessment taxes. no address of which he gave was found on GGLE .kuzolowera. kkkkk akuonetsani udolo.
kodi masiku anoso ndi oenda ndi ma file???
internet bwa????
mabulutu

The Patriot
The Patriot
2 years ago

Whether this is a tactical refusal of an invitation or what what … whichever angle we look at at it’s a big shame .

Mwenethengere
Mwenethengere
2 years ago

The Malawi organizers of this visit are very shithole.

Zadapo
Zadapo
2 years ago

This is just an excuse. I am sure the FIFA president has been advised to stay away from Malawian politics. Did Chileka become unworthy overnight? Chabwino, why not land in Lilongwe or even Zomba?

Mwe'ene
Mwe'ene
2 years ago
Reply to  Zadapo

…Zomba, akulu?

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
2 years ago
Reply to  Mwe'ene

Time constraints.

kanchenga
kanchenga
2 years ago

What a shame to imagine that big planes used to land their during Bands leadership. Decaying Malawi. Did we have to wait to face this embarrassment

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