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Malawi sports news addendum

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  • Christine Chumbler
    Malawi results enrage MPs By Aubrey Sumbuleta BBC Sport, Lilongwe Malawi s national assembly has demanded the resignation of sports minister Henry Chimunthu
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7 9:43 AM
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      Malawi results enrage MPs
      By Aubrey Sumbuleta
      BBC Sport, Lilongwe

      Malawi's national assembly has demanded the resignation of sports
      minister Henry Chimunthu Banda.

      The parliamentarians, dissatisfied with the national team's results in
      the 2006 World Cup qualifying series, blamed Banda for the country's
      flagging football fortunes.

      The Flames, as Malawi's national team is known, sit at the bottom of
      Group Five with three points.

      Justine Malewezi, former vice-president but now a sitting MP, was
      unhappy that the team travelled to Tunisia for their last match without
      sufficient funds.

      The Flames were thrashed 7-0 by the reigning African champions in their
      last game.

      It took six days for the team to return home, due to financial
      constraints which complicated their return journey through Ethiopia.

      "It will take four years for the Flames to overcome this 7-0 defeat,"
      Malewezi said angrily.

      "I call for the team to withdraw from the competition so that we can
      prepare ourselves well before we join any other competitions," he went
      on, to the applause of other MPs.

      Malewezi also proposed the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee
      on Sports.

      Other legislators questioned the commitment of the government to the
      national team, since they have failed to sufficiently fund its
      international engagements.

      "It's sad that Malawi has become Africa's football whipping boys," said
      one parliamentarian.

      "Malawi has become a laughing stock," he went on.

      Banda, nicknamed "Mr Seven-zero" by the angry MPs, following the defeat
      in Tunisia, refused to quit his post.

      He claimed the government was doing all it can to support the Flames.

      "It would be unwise of us to withdraw the team from the competition,"
      added Banda.

      The minister said officials of the ministry will look into the affairs
      of the team in order to reverse their fortunes.
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