Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has promised to pay the Malawi national football team players and technical panel special bonuses for reaching the Cosafa Plate finals after beating Comoros on Tuesday night.
Having missed out on a chance to win the ultimate prize after losing to Zambia, the Flames have a chance to reclaim the best losers accolade when they face the hosts South Africa at Moses Mabhida Stadium this Saturday.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu, writing on Twitter, said he was impressed with the team’s performance.
“The lads deserve a decent bonus for reaching the Plate Finals as a token of appreciation. FAM will not disappoint them. We will reward them appropriately,” he wrote yesterday.
But in an interview later, Nyamilandu could not divulge more details as to how much the players will be given.
“The performance of the Flames at the Cosafa tournament has been outstanding and it has surpassed the expectation of everyone else,” he said.
The Flames players normally get K100 000 each as bonus for a win and are among the most poorly paid in the southern Africa.
Nyamilandu said he was impressed with the team’s ability to score goals having struggled under previous coach Ronny Van Geneugden.
“The most important thing is that the team is now scoring goals freely and it is playing with flair and panache. It has demonstrated both technical and tactical ability to compete at a higher level,” he said.
Reacting to the FAM pledge, Flames interim coach Meke Mwase said it is encouraging.
“That will be a very good motivation for the boys. They deserve it. All I can say is thank you to the president,” he said.
Malawi reached the quarter-finals after an impressive performance during the group stages. However, they failed to progress to the Cosafa Cup semi-final after losing to Zambia in post-match penalties.
Mwase acknowledged that they have “surpassed their expectations”.
The Flames won the Cosafa Plate in 2015. Trivial as it is, the trophy is the most significant the senior national team has won in 30 years.