Malawi trip to Nigeria for crunch World Cup tie in limbo: ‘No money’

The Flames world cup qualifier match against Nigeria’s Super Eagles on 7 September is in jeopardy after revelation by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) that there is no money for the team to travel to Nigeria.

FAM General Secretary, Suzyo Nyirenda told Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS)on Thursday that the Flames require about K45 million to ably travel to Nigeria, but government has told them that it does not have the money for the trip.

Meanwhile, FAM has canceled plans to send an “advance party” to Nigeria ahead of the match due to unavailability of funds.

He said they only have K24 million. FAM was allocated about K60 million in the 2013/2014 national budget, but government has not given them all the money, according to Nyirenda.

Football Association of Malawi CEO Sugzo Nyirenda : No funds
Football Association of Malawi CEO Sugzo Nyirenda : No funds

Nyirenda further told ZBS that it was disheartening that government is not forthcoming on the matter.

He, however, pointed out that the future regarding the Flames’ trip to Nigeria will be known this Friday.

“We don’t have the required amount of money. Government has indicated the funds that were used during World cup qualifiers against Kenya and Namibia were part of the 2013/2014 national budget.

“We were not aware of this arrangement; we have been taken unaware because, to us, expenses that were incurred prior and after Kenya and Namibia games were settled by funds within the 2012/2013 financial year which ended on June 31, 2013,” said Nyirenda.

He, however, expressed optimism that that government will come to their rescue.

If the Flames fail to travel for the encounter, it would likely face a ban by the World football governing body, FIFA.

Following unavailability of funds, FAM has also indicated that Flames will not camp for about four days in Botswana where they will also have an international friendly match against the Zebra’s on September 3 before connecting to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles are in camp in Abuja ahead of the crucial final leg of the preliminary round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.

The camp commence last weekend with the home based players. Foreign based players are expected to join camp on September 2.

The 18 foreign-based stars invited for the game are Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile, John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi and Victor Moses.

Others are Emmanuel Emenike, who returns to the team after his heroic performance at the South Africa Cup of Nations, Ahmed Musa and Brown Ideye, Uche Nwofor, Nosa Igiebor, Shola Ameobi and Obinna Nsofor.

The Super Eagles, on nine points, need only a draw against seven-points Malawi to reach the final round of the African qualifying race for next year’s showpiece in Brazil.

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