Silver Strikers are the only club to claim a refund of its K1 million surety one month after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) asked clubs to withdraw the money to ease financial hardships due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In an interview yesterday, FAM director of communications and competitions Gomezgani Zakazaka said the response underlines that the pandemic has hit the clubs hard.
He said: “The fact that 15 teams out of 16 have claimed their money just shows how hard the pandemic has hit them financially because we made this money available to them in the wake of the lockdown on football activities [since March 20].
“We realise that these clubs mostly depend on gate revenue, broadcasting rights as well as other match revenue resources which are now dry. So we made an offer to withdraw the money they deposited with us so that it should cushion them financially during this period.”
However, Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thoko Chimbali said yesterday they also applied for consideration.
He said: “We will make a follow up, but we also applied. Maybe they missed us because we applied late.
“We have been affected by the pandemic as well and the money will help us a lot.”
In an interview yesterday, TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga confirmed applying to receive the surety, saying they appreciate FAM’s decision.
Civo United general secretary Ronald Chiwaula also said they got the refund two weeks ago.
“This is a good development because any amount will help us in one way or the other,” he said.
In a statement issued on April 2, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the money would go towards cushioning key expenditures clubs are incurring as a result of the football season suspension.
FAM has gone further to announce a K350 million relief to the 16 TNM Super League teams, whose players and officials, will each receive K40 000 a month for six months starting from June 1.
The association will use its Fifa Forward project funds.
On Monday, FAM also partnered with Rab Processors, sponsors of Southern Region Football League to assist regional league team players and officials with relief food package valued at K10 000 for each for six months.