National Football Referees Association (NFRA) has threatened not to release referees for Sunday’s TNM Super League title deciders unless Sulom pays them their dues amounting to about K13 million.
There are 40 elite referees who officiate Super League matches.
Reigning champions Nyasa Big Bullets, who lead the 16-team league with 67 points, host Kasungu-based TN Stars at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre while second-placed Be Forward Wanderers, who trail Bullets by a point, face Mlatho Mponela at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
NFRA general secretary (GS) Chris Kalichelo confirmed the development in an interview yesterday, saying, regional affiliates have taken the stand.
“We are in receipt of communication from our members that if they do not get their dues, then they will not officiate the matches.
“We have since taken up the matter with Sulom [Super League of Malawi] and this should be a wake-up call to them,” he said.
Kalichelo also said he has since spoken to Sulom GS Williams Banda.
“He has assured me that they will settle the dues by tomorrow [today],” he said.
The NRFA GS said they agreed that Sulom should be issuing officiation payments after every 30 days which has not been happening.
However, both Sulom GS Williams Banda and president Tiya Somba Banda said they were not aware of the referees’ stand.
“It’s news to us,” said Somba Banda.
Referees claim not to have received their dues since the second-round kicked off and last month, Sulom vice-GS Zachariah Nyirenda was quoted by our sister paper Weekend Nation confirming that they had not paid match officials in the second round.
He attributed the situation to clubs’ failure to honour affiliation fees from which officiation fees, come from.
A set of five match officials comprising centre referee, two assistant referees, fourth official and match assessor, gets K84 000 in total per match.