President Arthur Peter Mutharika on Wednesday met delegates from Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers at Sanjika Palace where he pledged the government’s support towards football in the country.
“Count on my support at all times,” Mutharika said. “For those who don’t know, I like sports. Specifically, I like football.
“In fact, sports is an important discipline of life. It teaches us team work, concentration, determination and setting goals.
“No wonder, footballers are some of the best achievers in the world. I would like to encourage you to work hard and put Malawi on the map for good reasons. As footballers, you are the flag bearers of your country.
“Many people want to make Malawi known to the world for negative reasons. But I urge you to love your country. You must bear the flag of your country with pride for good reasons.
“I am aware that you have many challenges. Let us always try to face our challenges as a team. You must think of Government as one of your team members.
“Whenever you have challenges you cannot face alone, consult with the Sports Council and the Ministry. We will always be listening.
“My Government will always support football. That is why I decided to construct the stadiums for Bullets and Wanderers.
“I know there are people who are opposed to this development. But these are people who do not wish you well. So, let us ignore them.
“We cannot build these stadiums in one day. But we will build them, and soon for that matter The question of why Government is constructing stadiums to private clubs does not arise.
“My answer to this criticism is that we are developing football in this country. Besides, these stadiums will always be used and enjoyed by the public.
“Let me urge Malawians to take into the spirit of contributing to the development of football in the country. I call upon the private sector to support Government in developing football in the country.”
Mutharika further urge football administrators to rein in theor supporters from hooliganism and violence.
“We have seen a remarkable decline in football hooliganism and violence. When it comes to taming violence and disciplining your followers, you are doing far much better than political leaders in this country. Well done!
“I also want to commend you for taking the route of commercializing the sport. That is the way to go.”
He also urged the two teams to put the life and welfare of players and to encourage them to continue with their education.
“I know football managers who take youthful players from their homes, take them out of school and bring them to Blantyre or Lilongwe only for them to get stranded. This practice must stop.
“Also make sure that your players are always disciplined. Football thrives with education and discipline. It is always nice to have players who are educated and are disciplined. That is how we can put Malawi on the map with football.”
During the Independence Day celebrations at Kamuzu Stadium on 6 July, Mutharika pledged K5 million each to the two teams, who were part of activities.
The pledge was presented to the team teams by Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Francis Phiso last month at Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Mpira Village at Chiwembe in Limbe.
The two teams were given MK4 million each as participation fee but at half time, after been impressed with their performance on the pitch, President Mutharika made the pledge to add on MK5 million each.
The two teams asked the Minister to facilitate that that they meet the President to highlight some of the challenges they face especially when they carry the flag in representing the country when they participate in Confederation of African Football (CAF) club championships.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :