Malawi is among countries with worst working conditions for football players, according to a report by International Federation of Professional Footballers (FifPro).
The report, titled ‘Shaping Our Future’ which was released during the week, classifies Malawi in cluster F among countries facing significant challenges to sustainable development of professional football structures.
Cluster A has countries (mostly from Europe) with best employment conditions while cluster B has stable employment conditions.
Group C has weak players’ conditions of service while D has substandard employment conditions.
Tier E has minimum employment conditions.
Apart from Malawi, Cluster F has mostly southern African countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.
The report says players in this cluster face unfair treatment such as unpaid wages, lack of access to justice, fair trial and face human rights violations.
Reads the report: “The status of the socioeconomic development of most of the countries in this cluster [F] has a direct knock-on effect to the employment conditions in the football markets. Often basic workers’ rights, such as insurance or access to remedy, are not available.”
The report is based on data from a sample of 79 countries and combines the economic market insights of KPMG Football Benchmark.
The report makes a number of recommendations to address these issues, such as strengthening players’ unions in the countries.
Football Players Association (FPA) general secretary Ernest Mangani said the association hopes to help improve the situation.
He said: As FPA we are aware of the state of working conditions of players in Malawi and this is why we are vigilant in ensuring that the football industry in the counrty appreciates the existence of our organisation and to understand our reasoning behind the many recommendations we are advancing to football authorities.”
Football Association of Malawi compliance manager Casper Jangale said the FifPro report is correct.
He said: “Even with a minimum wage [of K35 000] in place, some clubs fail to pay the players at the end of the month.”