Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has conceded football performance in the country has dwindled and disclosed that plans are underway to establish regional sports academies to improve the game in the country.
Mussa said this in Parliament in response to a question on measures his ministry is putting in place to improve the sport in the country.
Mchinji North East member of Parliament (MP) Alex Chitete (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) asked the minister to tell the nation plans on the ground to improve football.
"The standard of football, correct, has gone down," said Mussa..
"We really need to think deeper on how best we can get back to our glorious days when Flames were The Flames," he added.
Mussa said government plans to invest in football development and build a professional national football team.
"Firstly, what we have agreed with the Minister of Finance is that let there be sports academies, it could be at regional level and that is being considered.
"And secondly, we need to build a professional Malawi National Football Team. It should be a professional one meaning that day in day out, the players will do nothing but treat this as their profession," Mussa said.
The Minister said the players for the national team should be put on payroll and every month they will be considered including all the perks that go with it.
"We have agreed on that one and it is a matter that, shortly; in fact, the forthcoming budget we will have this item included," disclosed the Minister.
On the question by Chitete about the recent appointment of national football team coach Ronny Van Geneugden, Mussa said his ministry is not involved in the selection of the coach, but the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
"The current national coach the expatriate, is there after being assessed and recruited by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM). FAM has that mandate and it falls out completely outside the ministry mainstream," he said.