In an attempt to motivate the Flames to sweat blood and upset the tables against Ghanaâ€™s Black Stars in Saturdayâ€™s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations decisive qualifier, government has pledged an extra K100 000 ($300) for each player.
The Flames have also been promised K150 000 (about $500) for every goal.
Malawiâ€™s Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana announced the pledge in an interview with The Nation on Thursday morning.
The Flames need to win by a three-goal margin, having lost the first leg 2-0 in Accra.
“As government, we do not want to take any chances. We want to try by all means to motivate our boys so that they can pull a surprise on Saturday.
“To begin with, I am having a meeting with my principal secretary this [Thursday] morning to make arrangements to offer the players K100 000 [$300] extra each if they qualify and another K150 000 [$500] for each goal that they will score. I am also courting other companies and organisations for more pledges.
“I personally believe the mission is within reach,” said Chihana.
However, one of the senior players Esau Kanyenda said their focus is on Saturdayâ€™s clash rather than the incentives.
“We want to do well for our nation, that is the ultimate goal. So, while we appreciate governmentâ€™s gesture, the nation should realise that our focus is on the showdown. We will try to give our best shot for the sake of our motherland,” said Kanyenda.
The minister visited the Flames on Wednesday at Civo Stadium and urged them to fight every inch of the way.
“I told them that the battle is not yet over and they should fight their lungs out until literally the last gasp. I was encouraged with the morale in camp as the players appeared to be in high spirits,” he said.
â€˜Make them see redâ€™
Chihana has also urged Malawians to put on red attire on Saturday.
“It should be a red day. Whether one is going to the match or not, I urge all Malawians to put on red attire for the cause of our national football team as they face date with destiny,” he said.
On the other hand, neighbours and reigning Africaâ€™s champions Zambiaâ€™s Chipolopolo and Zimbabweâ€™s Warriors have been promised $5 000 each [about K1.5 million] should they win their encounters.
On top of the monetary pledge, the Zimbabwe government has also promised to give each player a residential stand [a plot] in Harareâ€™s leafy northern suburbs if they beat Angola.
Zimbabwe carry a healthy 3-1 lead from the first leg at home and face Angolaâ€™s Black Antelopes in a tricky away fixture whereas Zambia face Uganda Cranes also away in Kampala following a 1-0 home win.
Zimbabweâ€™s Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo told The Herald that the government had decided to play a big part in the Warriorsâ€™ quest for greatness.
“We will give each player a residential stand if they qualify for the African Cup of Nations set for South Africa. We will give them a stand each in the northern suburbs,” Chombo told the paper.
A residential stand in the leafy suburbs of Harare costs between $20 000 (about K6.3 million) and $30 000 (about K9.5 million).
Chombo said the Mzansi90, a committee which has been tasked to mobilise resources to provide incentives for the Warriors, approached him with the proposal.
“They approached me and I agreed that we should give the boys the stands if they qualify,” he said.
The Mzansi90 committee, which is chaired by Mbada Diamonds corporate executive George Manyaya had as of Monday raised about $344 000 [about K108.3 million].