Former Malawi President Joyce Banda has congratulated the Flames for putting up a spirited performance against Guinea in the opening match in the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.
Although Malawi National Football Team lost 1-0 to the highly fancied West African opponents, they put up a gallant fight and were denied by lack of a cutting edge as they created golden scoring opportunities.
Writing on his Facebook Page, the former president said she decided to congratulate them as a way of motivating them to work harder in the remaining two against Zimbabwe on Friday and Senegal on Tuesday.
Reads the statement in part: “On Monday, we watched a match between our team Flames and Guinea. I know that our team did not win, but I still feel that they need to be congratulated for trying so hard. They played the 90 minutes very well and tried so hard. There were contributing factors that affected the final result but those that are of my age know that in the 70’s our national team won against those that we consider very strong teams on the continent of Africa including Egypt and Cameroon.
“I wanted to encourage them by saying that our footballers can win again. Several things need to happen for us to get back there, especially if we seriously focus on building Under-20s in our schools and generally invest more in the game.”
Banda has a strong link with sports, among others her husband Chief Justice Richard Banda (retired) as former Flames player and FAM president, their son Ian Banda former Flames player while Minister of Industry Roy Kachale Banda is a former basketball player and administrator.
“In a very special way, I wanted to encourage our players and all football lovers in the country by reminding ourselves about our impeccable achievements in the East & Central Africa tournament in the 70s,” she summed up the statement accompanied by a group photo of Malawi’s east and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup winning team of 1988.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :