Flames coach Kinnah Phiri says Malawi’s failure to take part in the 2011 Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) senior challenge cup is another missed opportunity for the team to remain active.
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) announced over the weekend that the Flames will not participate in the showpiece after thoroughly looking at Cecafa’s short invitational notice.
FAM’s chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda told Nyasa Times that they have been advised by government through Sports Council not to participate looking at the time factor and the need to get approval and funding from government.
“We will write Cecafa officially to inform them of this development. They informed us late and asked us to buy our own air tickets and looking at the time, it won’t be possible for us to participate,” he said.
Nyirenda said participation would cost K8 million and as FAM they would rather channel that amount to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier game against Chad, World cup preliminary qualifier game against Nigeria and other programmes.
Reacting to the development, Flames coach Kinnah Phiri says it is a missed opportunity for the team because it means the team will be idle until next year.
“Its unfortunate that while other teams are playing friendly games elsewhere, the Flames will be inactive until 2013. We would have assessed locally based players in Cecafa ahead of the qualifiers, but there is little I can do now because Cecafa is also to blame for the late invitation,” he said.
Sports council’s executive secretary George Jana confirmed that they indeed recommended to FAM to reconsider participation with the late invitation and the time factor to prepare and seek government’s approval and funding.
The Cecefa senior challenge cup rolls into life on November 25 in Tanzania.