The government has poured cold water on Enlightened Christian Gathering founder Shepherd Bushiri’s offer to sponsor the Flames’ Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying campaign.
Bushiri made the offer through a press statement released on Saturday and signed by his Communications Officer, Ephraim Nyondo.
The offer coincided with the government’s call for a meeting with Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to understand why the association intended to withdraw the Flames from the Afcon and African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifiers.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Henry Mussa, said he was not aware of the South Africa-based Malawian billionaire’s offer.
“We are a serious government. If the prophet is indeed sincere about his offer, let him come to me like Rach Family Trust did when they offered to help netball,” Mussa said.
The minister said the government cannot take reports circulating in the social media and newspapers seriously, saying they lack basis.
“You cannot deal with a government through the social media or newspapers. We are saying whoever wants to help must come to us and we will take it from there. Rach Family Trust came to us and we struck a deal,” Mussa said.
Last year, the government also expressed displeasure when Bushiri donated K44 million for the Flames’ 2017 Afcon qualifying match against Guinea.
In the press release, Bushiri asked Fam to approach him using proper channels and present a budget for consideration.
Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, on Thursday announced that the association had u-turned on pulling the Flames out of Afcon and Chan as the government had promised funding.
The Flames need in excess of K200 million to meet the expenses of playing in the qualifiers.