Youth investment will drive Malawi's rise - Nyamilandu

Jabulani Linje (c) of Malawi is challenged by Jean Langue and Emmanuel Jean of Mauritius Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Malawi aren't one of African football's big names, but that could soon change when the country's considerable youth investment bears fruit, according to federation president Walter Nyamilandu.

The Flames are currently ranked 125th in the world, and have qualified just twice for the Africa Cup of Nations, but newly elected FIFA Council member Nyamilandu is confident that will soon change.

"We are investing a lot in the future," he told KweséESPN. "You will hear Malawi becoming a big threat in African football because of what we are doing at the grassroots level.

"A lot is happening in football development in Malawi. We have embarked on robust U-15, U-17 and U-20 leagues as a way of building for the future.

"The future is more important [than the present], and that is why we are not losing sight of what we want for football in our country," he added. "We now have over 10,000 young lads busy engaging in the junior Leagues and academies."

Nyamilandu attended his first FIFA Council earlier this week after being elected as one of CAF's Anglophone representatives ahead of South Africa's Danny Jordaan, and was delighted to learn of the world football governing body's pledge to invest more in their federations.

Gianni Infantino revealed during the Council in Rwanda that FIFA have increased the money FAs will receive to $ 6 million - from the previous $ 5 million - for running and operational costs.

"It's nice to see FIFA's increase in funding," Nyamilandu continued. "It's good to consolidate the efforts that members are doing to develop football.

"It is also good that some this money will be geared towards building infrastructure because most FAs in Africa cannot build their own structures and yet it is important."

Malawi have taken four points from their opening four matches in the AFCON qualifying campaign, and will remain in the running if they beat Comoros away in November's qualifier.