Football Association of Malawi (FAM) will this week start disbursing Covid-19 Special Relief funds after getting a green light from world football governing body, Fifa.
FAM established a K350 million Covid-19 Special Relief Fund in April, but needed Fifa’s approval to divert the 2020 special projects’ $400 000 (about K292 million) to cushion local football from the economic effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday confirmed that Fifa has given a no objection on the arrangement.
He said: “We are required to go ahead and disburse the funds. Fifa is satisfied with the governance protocol that has been followed from conceptualising of the framework through the task force to approval by the [FAM] executive committee and disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries.
“We have also demonstrated transparency and accountability supported by internal control processes that will ensure that there is no abuse or misuse of the monthly stipend for the players and officials.”
Under the arrangement, registered players, coaches and officials from all 16 TNM Super League will receive about K40 000 each for the next three months to cushion them from the economic effects of Covid-19.
Nyamilandu said disbursement of the funds will be made easier because all players, officials and coaches are registered under Mpira Connect.
“All bank accounts of the players and officials have been validated with the banks and confirmed by the account holders. In addition, all players and officials of the Super League clubs have been registered on Mpira Connect to the satisfaction of Fifa. We are, therefore, good to go and ready to roll out the Covid-19 Relief Support for the TNM Super League,” he said.
FAM suspended the 2020 season kick off in March after government imposed a ban on all gatherings of more than 100 people as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
With gate collections as the main source of revenue for most of TNM Super League clubs who do not have steady sponsorship, the economic impact of Covid-19 has left teams failing to pay their players.
Mighty Tigers technical director Robin Alufandika said the Kau-Kau Boys were on the brink of extinction due to the economic effects of Covid-19.
“It’s been hard for Tigers. We really need this support. Right now all we are banking on is the FAM relief funds,” he said.
Karonga United general secretary Ramzy Simwaka also said they were looking forward to the funding.
“That could be a lifeline for the club. Our source of revenue is mainly from gate collections and well-wishers,” he said.
Apart from the Fifa-funded Special Relief Fund, FAM has also partnered with Rab Processors Limited to extend the association’s Covid-19 Relief Fund programme to regional leagues’ teams.
The teams’ registered players will receive packs of assorted food items worth K120 million for seven months with effect from June 1 2020.