As usual the whole world, Malawians inclusive, is in euphoria as they look forward to watching yet another football fiesta — the 2018 to be hosted by Russia from Thursday.
Though Malawi national football team are not there, and they have never been, we still look forward to it and we always spare a kind thought and wishes to African representatives, this time in the Pharaohs of Egypt, Atlas Lions of Morocco, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia and the Teranga Lions of Senegal.
It’s unfortunate that the Flames have never enjoyed the massive spotlight that is attached to this great football fiesta and the only achievement at the bigger stage was the qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 1984 and in 2010.
Since then, our football has gone so drastically down that we can be beaten by the likes of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius et al and that we have never even won the Cosafa Cup let alone qualify for the African Nations Championship finals — a tournament designed for domesric league players.
So, we only get to bet our money on the World Cup’s favourite teams like Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy et al while just keeping a soft soft for the African representatives for solidarity’s sake.
Do we learn anything from the disappointment of not qualifying for Nations Cup, let alone the World Cup? When we shuffle back to corner to lick our wounds after being bundled out of these tournaments, do we go to back to the drawing board to find out where we went wrong?
Do we find out how the other African countries keep their momentum going? Forget about justifying that none of the Cosafa favourites such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa qualified as well, we need to have our own strategy to do better every time we fall.
Our football needs a complete overhaul to reach the standards of the rest of the Cosafa region. We need to borrow a leaf from the region and the rest of the continent if we are to move forward.
It’s high time that Malawi qualified for the World Cup and we can only do so if our domestic league was heavily revamped, that the national junior ranks was pampered like new-born baby and that we provide the game with good infrastructure.
Let’s enjoy Russia 2018 World Cup with envy and tell ourselves that instead of watching and praying that the Pharaohs of Egypt, Atlas Lions of Morocco, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia and the Teranga Lions of Senegal should go further in the tournament it should be the Flames we would all rally behind.
And I should never heard of teams in Malawi using juju, that’s ludicrous for heaven’s sake! If juju works, we would have been world champions for countless of times.
Enjoy the World Cup.