Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa visited the Flames during yesterday’s morning training session at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe.
The Flames are preparing for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Comoros at BNS this Saturday. Flames are in Group B whose other opponents are Cameroon and Morocco.
In his talk, the minister expressed disappointment with the team’s failure to qualify for continental tournaments and win trophies.
Malawi last qualified for the Afcon in 2010 and last won a meaningful trophy in 1988 when they clinched the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup.
“It is disappointing that the Flames, despite being a household name, continue to break the hearts of 17 million Malawians. I would like to ask you to be more committed and patriotic,” he said.
Mussa said government was working on a number of modalities to motivate the players.
“We will arrange with Football Association of Malawi [FAM] to list a number of players that play for the national team. These ones will be receiving monthly salaries and also be insured. All this is aimed at motivating them to get good results,” he said.
Government has previously been saying that all national team players are insured but in an interview, the ministry’s sports director Jameson Ndalama described the policy as group insurance which is not comprehensive.
“What we want is that each player should have his own insurance cover. They will sign insurance contracts as individuals. We want to make the new arrangement much more beneficial to the players than it is now,” he said.
Without detailing when the insurance will be introduced, Ndalama said they are currently consulting insurance experts on how best to make it workable.
FAM technical director John Kaputa said they were motivated with the minister’s visit while promising that the players will fight to qualify for the Afcon finals.
“The boys are inspired by your coming. It shows that you care for their welfare. We will give our all to ensure that we qualify,” he said. n