Women's football: Malawi's shortest route to Afcon, World Cup

Malawi Scorchers

The inconsistent performances of the Flames despite continued investment in the bearded men calls for a serious rethink in these tough economic times when every tambala matters.

The maths of investing close to K500 million every year in a team that guarantees you Afcon qualification once every 10 or more years and brings back nothing in return should jolt the planners into action.

There is nowhere it is written that playing international football is the universal human right for the Flames only.

The under-17,  under-20 and senior women's teams also deserve attention and investment.

The football investment mix at the moment is not balanced with focus placed on the Flames even at the expense of their juniors such as the under-17 and under-20 who are always dormant even when logic tells us that they are supposed to be the breeding ground for the seniors.

Examples of countries such as Zambia and the way they spread their football mix shows that putting eggs in several eggs pays dividends.

Zambia have been duly compensated for the Chipolopolo's failure to make the 2021 delayed Afcon Cup final cut by succeeding at the Cosafa Cup and Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) underway in South Africa and Morocco.

While in Malawi we are still trying to scavange comfort from the history that was the Flames' largely impressive Afcon showing in Cameroon, our neighbours in Zambia are celebrating the present success.

On Friday, Chipolopolo beat Senegal 4-3 to reach the Cosafa Cup final where they meet Namibia on Sunday July 17 2022.

Note that the Flames are by now watching the tournament underway in Durban on TV after a very characteristic early exit.

Chipolopolo's exploits come days after the women's team beat Senegal to reach the WAFCON semifinal which guarantees them World Cup football for the first time in Zambia's football history.

The Zambians missed out on one Afcon event but at least they have other avenues of joy because they don't just overly focus on one team.

Looking at the Shepolopo squad you realise they have over five players playing abroad despite that they started exporting female footballers late.

In Malawi, women's football is all about Temwa and Tabitha Chawinga and the domestic league is still a work in progress

Perhaps it is time FAM invested a little more in the women's game to attract more scouts, open avenues for exporting more players so that the Scorchers can have a strong team.

The road to World Cup finals and Afcon is less bumpy and winding with women's football and juniors than with senior men's football which we are obsessed with at the expense of our little cash and mental health.