Sportsmen’s Association has asked Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to speed up the formation of Player Welfare Fund (PWF).
The association cited the suffering of over 20 players of the disbanded Max Bullets as a point of reference.
Super League side Max Bullets owner Max Kapanda dissolved the club in the middle of the second round without paying the players their compensation, game bonuses and salary arrears.
One of the players, Wongani Zulu, said in an interview that he has been surviving on alms as he could not join another club since Max Bullets disbanded when the transfer window had already closed.
“I have gone through hell. I beg in order to feed my family and pay rentals. The most painful thing is that when I beg, some people mock me that being a player in Malawi is worthless because we end up being beggars,” lamented striker Wongani Zulu, a father of one.
Another former Max player Wachimwa Sadick said: “Max disbanded without any warning and that caught us unawares. I just wish our football authorities set up policies that could support players in our situation.”
Sportsmen’s Association secretary Mussa Sanudi, who has been helping Max players to seek legal action against Kapanda, said FAM should draw lessons from the players suffering and push for the establishment of the PWF.
“I don’t think Max Bullets players could have suffered like this if there was Player Welfare Fund. FAM should show love to the players by formulating policies that are aimed at promoting their welfare. They need good life even after they lose their jobs like in the Max Bullets scenario,” he said.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the soccer mother body feels ashamed that the players, the key component of the game, face financial problems.
“It is not only FAM which is ashamed. The whole football fraternity should be ashamed for letting the players to become beggars. We really need to do more,” he said.
Gunda blamed the PWF delay on FAM’s failure to consult when it declared that the fund will be effected in the just ended season.
The fund was botched after it was noted that FAM did not have the constitutional mandate to take a percentage of gate collection shares from the clubs.
“I think we hurried to announce that the fund will be in operation soon. We should have consulted widely before giving the players the hope,” he said.
Meanwhile, the FAM GS has expressed hope that the PWF will be operational next season: “We are currently ironing out the challenges that have derailed the fund’s take off. We are with players and clubs to clear out all the misunderstanding,” he said. n