Minister pledges houses for Flames


MINISTER of Youth Development and sports Enock Chihana has pledged Malawi Housing Corporation houses for Flames players as one way of motivating the team ahead of Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in September.

Chihana visited the Flames players at Hotel Victoria following the team’s victory over Chad at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.

Malawi has since qualified for the second and last round of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by South Africa next year.

Chihana observed that despite lack of incentives the players still work hard for the Flames’ success.

“Just imagine for a win we give our players K30,000 and for a draw they get K15,000 and if they lose they get nothing yet in other countries the players get a lot of money,” he said.

“When I visited the players, I promised to change things. I promised them that the game bonuses will be revised. I have also pledged that all national team players should have Malawi Housing Corporation houses.’

Chihana said those that would not manage to pay the rentals, government would help them until they are able to do so.

The sports minister also reiterated that coach Kinnah Phiri’s contract and his backroom staff would be ready for signing soon.

“I haven’t yet seen the contract so I cannot give you the details about it, but it’s almost ready,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fam has said the association’s executive committee would meet on June 22 where they would also draw a plan of activities for the Flames preparations for the 2013 Afcon second round.

Fam general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said he was looking at the possibility of the Flames playing some strength testing matches between June and September.

Coach Kinnah told BBC Sport that he would like the team to camp over seas in preparation for the second round.

Caf is expected to conduct the second round draw on July 1.

A total of 47 countries entered the competition, including South Africa that automatically qualified.

In the second round the 14 winners of the first round including Malawi will join the 16 teams that qualified for the 2012 Afcon.

In the second round the 30 teams will be ranked based on their performances during the last three Africa Cup of Nations in 2008, 2010, and 2012 editions.

The teams will be divided into two pots based on the ranking.

Each tie will contain one team from each pot and they will be played in two-legged home-and-away knock-out basis.

After the pairing, the 15 winners of the second round will qualify for the South Africa finals.

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