I expected Mighty Be Forward Wanderers to get their just revenge in the Round of 32 of the FISD Challenge on Tuesday at Kamuzu Stadium for the embarrassment they got from Masters Security when they upset they tables by coming from a goal behind to force a draw with a few minutes towards the end of the Carlsberg Cup final and to win it through penalty shootouts.
I knew this FISD Challenge encounter would produce fireworks; with bruised Wanderers out to atone their fans and for Masters to prove a huge point that it was not a fluke they won the Carlsberg Cup.
But I was amazed that the new champions crumbled altogether and were thumped 0-4 — What a turn around!!!!
All in all, congratulations to Masters Security for making history of clinching a cup in your first-ever final. Well done and keep your heads high by focusing ahead than dwelling on Tuesday’s misfortune.
Most fans have been impressed with Masters style of play. They have very good talent and some worthy national team material.
What impressed me with Masters is that after their debute appearance in the top flight TNM Super League, they took a bold step by registering to participate in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Cup.
Though they were ousted in the preliminaries by seasoned CAF club championship participants, Petro Atletico of Angola, they must have garnered confidence and good exposure; which is what CAF club championships are all about.
If more of our teams were to participate in these tournaments — and not just the usual Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets — but others as well. And, like I said some two weeks ago, Maybe the Malawi government can emulate the subsidy system for football clubs like what other Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and DR Congo are doing.
I gave an example that the Tunisian government gives every club a certain amount of money each season and just last year, it gave each top-flight club $90,000 and $50,000 for the second tier.
DR Congo government spent over $530,000 on TP Mazembe in 2017 and also financed the team’s 14 days training in Morocco ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup final. The government also took care of 37 air tickets, accommodation, catering, bonuses for friendlies to a tune of $278,000.
The government also gave TP Mazembe $251,500 before the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final and each player earned $5,000 after winning the cup.
In Cote d’Ivoire, their National Cup (called the FA Cup) is sponsored by the government and ASEC Mimosas received about $18,000 from the government as prize money for winning last season’s competition.
If we are to develop the game from the bottom to the top by exposing our players on the international stage from club level to junior national teams, the senior Flames wouldn’t need to go for one month training camp like we do. A week is enough.
Malawian teams struggle financially even to honour their domestic league or cup games and what they earn when they win the league or a cup competition is very little and goes towards meeting some of the expenses incurred for the tournaments rather than be channelled towards CAF participation.
Masters Security and Mighty Wanderers participated and fell in the preliminary rounds of the Confederation Cup and Champions League respectively but the experience was worth it and if given more opportunities one day they can reach far.
The CAF club championship played their semifinals on Tuesday and only 1° de Agosto from Angola represented the COSAFA region in which they were beaten by Esperance de Tunis of Tunisia. The other three were north African teams, ES Sétif of Algeria against Al Ahly SC of Egypt.
I am quite sure that Flames team manager James Sangala, who played his professional football in Angola, can agree with me that de Agosto did not reach this far on a silver platter.
COSAFA is always represented by top clubs like Zesco United and Zanaco of Zambia; Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport and Orlando Pirates of South Africa; Mbabane Swallows of eSwatini; Recreativo do Lobola, Atletico Petrleos Luanda and Agosto of Angola; Dynamos of Zimbabwe and many others except Malawi.
My plea, as always is, maybe the government can take a leaf from what other countries mentioned by dangling a carrot for the clubs that whosoever wins the league and a national tournament can be financed to participate in these tournaments.
This can galvanise the teams to give their best in the league and the cups just like teams do to fight for place in the top eight so that they can participate in Airtel Top 8.
I have said this countless of times because with current situation, our football cannot grow. Masters have shown that they gained a lot of experience in just their debut in the Super League and their participation in CAF and given the chance, they can go beyond the preliminaries.
Otherwise, if they have the muscle to try another shot on their own initiative, more stakeholders should join them to assist.
Congrats once against to masters Security for clinching the Carlsberg Cup.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :