Privately-owned football clubs Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers have asked for direct budgetary support from Treasury.
Bullets, owned by Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC), want government to fund their 2019 CAF Champions League participation.
The Nomads, who are sponsored by Japanese car dealers Be Forward Limited, on the other hand feel, government should help pay their debt amounting to K60 million debt incurred in the same competition two years ago.
The two TNM Super League giants made the requests on Monday evening after Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Francis Phiso gave the clubs K10 million (K5 million each) which President Peter Mutharika pledged as their additional package following their participation in the Independence Annivesary Celebrations match at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on July 6.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said: “We are grateful to the President for fulfilling his promise to give Bullets and Wanderers K5 million each after the Independence Day Celebrations match,” he said.
“We would also like to plead with him to support us as we prepare for CAF Championship, which we wish to participate in on an annual basis.”
Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire said they are struggling to repay the K60 million debt dating back to two years ago.
“We plead with the government to help us repay the debt we accumulated during CAF Champions League participation. We were Malawi flag-carries [in the competition] and such continental tournaments help expose our players,” he said.
The Nomads were booted out of Champions League after a 1-6 (0-4 and 1-2) aggregate loss to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) outfit AS Vita in two-legged preliminary round qualifier.
When asked why the Nomads went ahead to take part in the competition when they did not have enough funds, Mkandawire said they did it to avoid embarrassing the country.
“Our sponsors pulled out their commitment at the eleventh hour and we were afraid of embarrassing the nation if we withdrew.
“Moreover, we were hoping that we could repay the debt through the money had we progressed far in the competition,” he said.
Bullets and Wanderers also asked the President to fast-track the fulfilment of his promise to build stadiums for the two sides on the land government gave them in Blantyre a few months ago.
In response, Phiso said he would deliver the requests to the president but he insisted that there is need for patience as there are several procedures that need to be followed first.
But soccer analyst George Kaudza Masina yesterday said it is not the government’s responsibility to help privately-owned clubs such as Bullets and Wanderers.
“These clubs should not take advantage of the government’s generosity to ask for things that are supposed to be done by the clubs on their own. As commercial entities, these clubs should find means to raise their funds as government has a lot of pertinent issues to sort out than help privately-owned soccer clubs,” he said.