Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has partnered Rab Processors Limited to give 62 regional league teams assorted foodstuffs worth K130 million as a relief package in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
FAM has contributed K98 million for the purchase of the food items while Rab Processors has offered a price discount for the commodities and free distribution to players and team officials nationwide through their subsidiary company Kulima Gold.
During a press briefing yesterday at Mpira Village in Blantyre, FAM President Walter Nyamilandu said they will reach out to a maximum number of 25 players and five officials of each registered Premier Division team in the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League, Chipiku Stores Central Region Football League and Simama and Sons Northern Region Football League.
In total, FAM will distribute 1 860 packs per month, translating to 13 020 packs for the duration of seven months from June 1.
He said: “Per month, each team will be getting 30 Bespoke-branded packs valued at K10 000 each. Each pack will comprise10-kilogramme (Kg) cream of maize flour, two kgs of brown sugar, 500 grammes (g) of table salt, 200g tea, 200g soya pieces, two kg beans and two bars of washing soap.”
“It is important that during this difficult period, our football players and officials should not sleep on an empty stomach. Suffice to say that their well-being is our priority.”
Nyamilandu said funding for the Covid Relief Packs will come from the K350 million budget FAM previously announced.
“This is the second phase of our bailout package to teams and players having already catered for the top-flight league players and women’s football teams through monthly stipends,” he said.
The inclusion of the K98 million package for second-tier leagues means FAM has used K332.8 million of their K350 million relief fund budget sourced from Fifa Forward Projects as Super League players and officials are set to get K140 million, women’s football K73.5 million and referees K21.3 million.
On his part, Rab Processors chief executive officer Ahmed Sunka, whose company sponsors ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League, said they decided to collaborate on the initiative as a way of assisting the regional league teams.
“Our contribution to this programme comes at a time when football players in the country are off the pitch. We are aware that most of these players have no source of income as football is their livelihood. This initiative will lessen the plight that most of them are going through,” he said.
The regional leagues have since welcomed the initiative, saying it will go a long way in alleviating the financial struggles their players are going through.
“On behalf of our players, we thank FAM and Rab Processors for this great initiative,” said Southern Region Football Association chairperson, Raphael Humba.