The National Football Referees Committee (NFRC) has threatened to boycott the kickoff of the Super League games unless the issues they raised with Sulom, are addressed.
NFRC general secretary Chris Kalichelo said, among other things, they want the officiation fees adjusted upwards and that Sulom should organise a pre-season seminar.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Bottoman said efforts are being made to meet NRFC.
“Traditionally, at the end of every season, we meet Sulom to conduct a post-mortem and also plan the way forward, but this time that did not happen.
“We, actually, wrote them on January 20 asking if they could consider raising the officiation fees because things have gone up. We also asked them to arrange a pre-season seminar, but they [Sulom] did not respond. We have been pushing them left, right and centre to address the issues to no avail,” said Kalichelo.
He said the present fee for a set of four officials is K24 000 (US$57), from which a 15 percent levy goes towards the regional (10 percent) and national (five percent) committees.
“After deductions, the referees take home between K4 500 (US$11) and K5 000 (US$12) each, which is too little considering that stewards get more than that.
“Besides, there is a shanting allowance of K1 000 (US$2.3) that is supposed to cater for transport and lunch, but that, too, is too little considering that the minimum return transport cost is K500 and a modest meal now costs more than K500. These are some of the issues that we want Sulom to address before we can start,” he said.
Kalichelo added: “We have not come up with a suggestion of how much percentage increase we want. That can be discussed with them [Sulom] as long as it suits the current economic situation.”
Asked if they have been in touch with Sulom on the matter lately, Kalichelo said: “Yes, in fact we have agreed to meet next Monday.”
On whether they will officiate weekend games ahead of the Monday meeting, Kalichelo said they are not prepared to officiate the games unless the issues are addressed.
“As I said, that is not our problem because we took up the issue with them sometime back,” he said.
However, Bottoman said they had not disregarded the issues raised by the referees.
“There are quite a number of issues that we need to look into, such as raising money to hold an AGM which is the right forum to discuss and determine referees’ fees. So, what I can say is that we will try to address the situation,” he said.