Sunday, September 09, 2007


I received the news about the impending withdrawal of sponsorship of Silver Strikers with great concern. The Reserve Bank of Malawi is reported to be saying it is now too costly to run the team. Wow!!
Soccer in Malawi is on its death-bed! Silver Strikers facing extinction? Unthinkable ....but there it is! MDC United, MITCO, Railways United, MHC, B&C Dynamos, Whitex are among some of the good teams that are now history. Big Bullets are on their knees, Michiru Castles are surviving on handouts, Tigers are just as wobbly...MTL Wanderers are not that safe either.What will be left? police and army teams that do not have that requisite quality to make it big.Yet we talk about qualifying for the 2010 World Cup!! What a joke!
In the 1970s and 1980s, Malawi were doing well on the continent and even beat great teams such as Egypt, Cameroon, Zambia, Morocco and Senegal. Today Malawi can hardly compete against fellow minnows such as Namibia or Lesotho.

The decline in sponsorship is linked to the economic malaise that was prominent during the reign of Bakili Muluzi. It has been well documented that over 30 companies shut down during this time directly or indirectly due to the bad policies of Muluzi. And so went into oblivion teh likes of MDC United, who produced stars like the late Frank Sinalo and Holman Malunga. It is said each time Malawi played Zambia, and Zambian fans saw Sinalo on the line-up, they were full of fear! Sinalo was lethal with his head and scored many crucial goals against our neghbours!!

The present government, I feel, is for economic prudence mainly and does not really care about sports. I take the example of how the issue of Admarc Tigers was handled as a case in point. Now it is the Reserve Bank! And then how many times has the national team struggled to find money for its engagements??
We can as well forget 2010 World Cup and may be focus on indigenous games such as 'bawo'.