Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Fleetwood Haiya has said he left late for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Ivory Coast because he had other pressing domestic issues to attend to.
The former Super League of Malawi President left on Tuesday for Africa’s greatest football showpiece where he watched the semi-final between Nigeria and South Africa.
He is also expected to watch the final between the hosts Ivory Coast and Nigeria on Sunday.
Haiya said he was invited by Confederation of African Football (CAF) in capacity of Malawi’s football governing body head.
He said: “Considering that we have a lot of business to handle at home, I elected not to attend the tournament from the start, especially considering that the Flames did not qualify for the finals. However, we will be prepared and fight to qualify for the next finals.”
Haiya said on the sidelines of the tournament he would have an opportunity to meet senior football officials both from the continental and global bodies to gain insights on how to take the game to greater heights.
After his election in December, he made his maiden trip to Saudi Arabia where he went alongside Football Association of Malawi general secretary Alfred Gunda and the association’s executive member Adellaide Migogo at the invitation of Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
Haiya’s predecessor Walter Nyamilandu also went to Afcon in his capacity as Confederation of African Football executive member while FAM communications and competitions director Gomezgani was assigned by CAF as match coordinator at the finals.