The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has said Flames’ allowances cannot be revised now considering the available resources.
Council executive secretary George Jana was reacting to Flames captain Joseph ‘Shakira’ Kamwendo and his predecessor Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda who have cautioned FAM and government to tread carefully on the issue of players’ incentives, saying it has the potential to affect 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.
Said Jana: “It is difficult to contemplate revising the allowances because the available resources cannot maintain the hike,” said Jana.
The development comes in the wake of government’s move to trim Flames extra budget funding from K102 million to K67 million.
Commenting on the issue for the first time on Saturday, Kamwendo said there is urgent need to review players’ allowances if they are to give out something extra in the quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Kamwendo also said the players’ patience has worn thin having pressed for the review of their allowances for over four years now.
He clarified that players want their game bonus for a win to be increased to K100 000 (about $250) from the current K30 000 (about $75), and not K50 000 (about $125) as it was earlier reported. He also said they want the draw bonus to be hiked to K60 000 (about $150), from the current K15 000 (about $37.50).
“We are one of the least paid national teams in the region. We have pushed for the review of the allowances for sometime now and one can actually tell that the players’ patience has worn thin and has the potential to affect their morale.
“The team has all the chances of qualifying for World Cup, yet the motivation is not there. Of course, we play for the love of our motherland, but we need to be rewarded for our sweat.
“The standard of living has gone up and we are still getting allowances that were last revised over five years ago, is that fair? We are not trying to hold FAM and government at ransom, but we are just expressing our concerns,” said the Flames skipper.
Mponda appealed to authorities to seriously look into the matter.
“The issue of Flames’ allowances has dragged for so long. It started when I was still captain and it has the potential to frustrate players,” he said.
Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana recently said government is aware of the funding problems the team is facing.
He said despite the financial challenges, government is fully committed towards supporting the Flames.