A fallout between Nyasa Big Bullets FC players and officials over appearance fee could have contributed to the team’s shambolic performance against cross-town rivals Be Forward Wanderers on Boxing Day, The Nation has learnt.
Bullets were left searching their soul after a morale-shattering 3-0 whitewash ahead of the second leg of the Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza in Lilongwe next Monday.
Two senior players confided in The Nation that prior to the showdown, the players threatened to boycott the match following disagreements over how the allowances would be disbursed.
“Our first concern was their decision to offer only 20 players K30 000 each.
“We felt it was unfair to sideline others from getting a share of the appearance fee and they even failed to justify their decision,” he said.
Another player said they were also concerned with the suggestion that they would get the appearance fee after the match.
“We felt that defeated the whole purpose of an appearance fee. We argued that our [Wanderers] counterparts had been given theirs in advance. Apparently, none of the executive members came forward with a convincing reason for their decision.
“So, as players we resolved during our meeting not to play unless we received the money.
“We only changed our stand about an hour before the game for the sake of other stakeholders such as the fans and sponsors,” he said.
Team manager Rahim Ishmael refused to comment on the issue and referred The Nation to vice-general secretary Bize Kalodzeni.
On his part, Kalodzeni confirmed having been briefed on the situation by technical adviser Elia Kananji.
“I was out of town, but I was contacted by Kananji that there were some misunderstandings relating to the appearance fees.
“But I cannot give you a concrete comment now because I am still trying to get information on what exactly happened. I also need to consult with my chairperson [Noel Lipipa] and the treasurer [Alex Gondwe],” he said.
But it was a different story in the Nomads camp where the players got their K30 000 appearance fee each [from Luso TV] before the match.
“They also received an additional K30 000 each from the club as game bonus and should they seal the victory, more awaits them,” said Wanderers team manager Stevie Madeira. n