In contrast to sports such as volleyball and basketball, football is played all around Malawi
, a country that has been taking part in international competitions since 1964. They struggled at first, losing their first match 12-0 against Ghana on 6 July 1964, a match organised as part of festivities to celebrate independence. The national association quickly learnt from its early mistakes. Malawi
have since enjoyed some success, winning the CECAFA (confederation of Central and East African football associations) Cup on three occasions (1978, 1979 and 1988). In 1984, the national team qualified for the finals of the African Nations Cup for the first, and to date only time. In 1987, Malawi
reached the semi-finals of the African Games, and in 2002, they reached the Final of the COSAFA (confederation of South African football associations) Cup. Countless players have earned transfers to teams in Southern Africa (South Africa, Tanzania etc). Essau Kanyenda (Rostov, Russia), Dan Chitsulo (FC Cologne, Germany), Meter Mponda and McDonald Yobe (both Ottawa Wizards, Canada) have also played for teams on a different continent.