Some women football clubs have faulted National Women’s Football Association (NWFA) for planning to use K26 million for an international friendly match against Botswana on December 10 instead of investing the money in domestic competitions.

Currently, a 35-strong national team is in camp under head coach Stewart Mbolembole ahead of the international match.

But the clubs feel playing an international friendly using part of the K35 million Fifa Financial Assistant Programme (FAP) is not a priority in the absence of a national league.

As at now, Fifa/FAM Under-20 Cup and the FAM Women Cup are the two competitions for women’s football funded by Fifa’s FAP.

Tabitha (R) tries to beat her marker during yesterdays training

Tabitha (R) tries to beat her marker during yesterday’s training

“We feel it is a folly to spend such amount of money on an international friendly when we do not have a domestic national league,” said Dreams United founder and coach George Chiphang’ombe.

 

“It could make sense if we abandoned the international friendly to concentrate on developing the game in the country. We should not rush to international participation when the standard of play is not good locally.”

Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman observed that there is need for the country to have a stable national league before undertaking international friendly matches.

“What is the use of playing international friendly matches when the players will be idle upon their return from Botswana?”

But NWFA chairperson Severia Chalira said the international friendly is important in exposing talent and improving local players’ skills.

She said it will be against the world football governing body to divert money for international games to domestic competitions.

“Fifa gave us this money specifically for international games and we could be in bad books [with Fifa] if we used the money for other activities. Moreover, international games are important to expose players and improve our standard of play,” she said.

But  according to Fifa website, the FAP funding empowers the associations and confederations to organise development programmes that meet their needs and strengthen football and its administration in the long term, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, youth football and technical development.

Meanwhile, the women’s team coach Mbolembole yesterday said the national team is progressing well with the preparations.

He added that the coming in of Sweden-based striker Tabitha Chabinga has stimulated the squad and he hopes to have a final squad of 20 players before leaving for Botswana on December 8.

On her part, Chabinga said she is happy to be reconnected with fellow Malawian players and she will do her best to help the team do well in Botswana.

Austria-based defender Chisomo Kadzisonga has failed to join the squad as she just completed her club’s first round games last weekend and is scheduled to write her University exams in the European nation. n

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