Malawi Olympic president contradicts himself on C’Wealth squad

Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) President Oscar Kanjala has contradicted himself on the significant reduction of Malawi’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games squad by dropping 47 athletes and officials who were confirmed to participate.

Kanjala earlier said MOC had decided to reduce a 96-member delegation after finding out that most athletes were not good enough to participate at the games.

He said the association had warned that it would not just pick athletes to go on sight-eyeing mission while dismissing that the decision was based on financial problems.

Kanjala:   No tourists
Kanjala: No tourists

“We told associations to train their athletes properly because we didn’t want just to take athletes who will not be up to the standards,” Kanjala said.

But a week later the MOC President swallowed his pride to admit that the decision was based on financial problems because they had a shortfall of K83 million of a proposed budget of K137 million.

“It was not our making we had to drop them after a lengthy meeting which involved Sports Council and Ministry of Sports officials,” he said.

The MOC Vice-President Flora Mwandira, who is the leader of delegation, said the decision was based because of financial constraints.

“We had a list of 96 athletes and officials but the number was reduced. Our budget was at K137 million but we had a deficit of K83 million,” Mwandira said.

Kanjala confessed that the reduction of the squad at the eleventh hour could have serious repercussions from both travel agents and Commonwealth Games governing body.

“We had made some advance payments and bookings. We might end up paying penalties following the late cancellation,” he said.

“The consequences are dire as the organisers will likely reduce our allocation for Commonwealth Games that would be held in Australia as they could have increased our allocation for 2018 if we had met this year’s allocation,” he said.

Among the full squad of 49 comprise 30 athletes from individual sporting disciplines athletics, bowling, boxing, cycling, judo, tennis, weightlifting and team sport of netball.

Of all the sporting disciplines only netball qualified while the other athletes would be participating on solidarity.

The delegation left on Sunday through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe to UK for a two-week camp before heading to Glasgow, Scotland.

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