Flames players have stepped up the drive to force FAM into reviewing their game bonus and training allowances as well as settling arrears from last year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
The players are reported to have asked FAM to consider raising their game bonus for a win to K50 000 (about $125) each from the present K30 000 (about $75) [representing 67 percent increase] and daily training allowance from K2 000 (about $5) each to at least K4 000 (about $10) [a 100 percent increase].
Some players are also demanding arrears in the excess of K4 million (about $10 000) from last year’s Cecafa tournament that was staged in Uganda.
One of the senior players, who spoke on condition of anonymity, on Thursday said they have asked Football Association of Malawi (FAM) leadership to address the issue before the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
He said while the players appreciate the country is going through tough economic times, the allowances are long overdue.
“Soon after the Namibia game, we met in Windhoek where it was agreed through our captains [Joseph Kamwendo and Moses Chavula] to present our grievances to FAM and government.
“The stand that we took was that we expect FAM to act on the matter before we start preparations for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers [against Namibia and Kenya]. Suffice to say, we did not set any conditions, but if we do not hear anything from FAM, then we’ll consult and map the way forward. We have since asked our captains to take up the concern with FAM,” said the player.
He added: “The request to have our allowances reviewed was first made over three years ago when Peter Mponda was captain and that was before the kwacha was devalued. Now with the current inflation, the situation is even worse because the standard of living has gone up. But while it is an honour to serve our motherland, our patience has worn thin.”
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the development. He said the issue is being treated with the urgency it deserves.
“They have indeed taken up the matter with us, but they did not set any conditions. They were very diplomatic in their approach. We have since made submissions to government through Sports Council.
“However, it would be very difficult to prescribe until we establish how much will be released, but certainly there will be an increase because the standard of living has gone up and the current allowances are outdated,” he said.
He added: “We are doing well in the World Cup qualification campaign and the boys need to be motivated. The issue of players incentives is paramount if we expect to get the best from them,” said Nyamilandu.
However, Youth Development and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana recently told The Nation that the issue of Cecafa allowances was FAM’s responsibility because government did not budget for it.
Sports Council’s executive secretary George Jana on Thursday said government’s position on the allowances has not changed.