Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has resolved to give K40 000 cash subsidy to each TNM Super League player and team official for six months starting from June this year.
During a press conference at Mpira Village in Blantyre yesterday, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said this was one of the resolutions made during last Monday’s virtual executive committee emergency meeting that reviewed the association’s task force report on the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on Malawi football.
Flanked by FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda and FAM task force chairperson Chimango Munthali, Nyamilandu said the initiative will use part of the
Special Projects and not the K372.5 million ($500 000) FAM will get from the world football governing body for operational activities.
Each of the 16 Super League teams registers a maximum of 30 players, translating to 480 players that stand to benefit from the initiative. The development means FAM will spend about K115.2 million on the players. The association is yet to decide on the number of team officials will benefit from the fund.
“I must emphasise that the monthly stipends will be given to players and team officials that depend on football to make a living. In this case, Super League players and team officials,” Nyamilandu said.
To ensure the money gets to intended beneficiaries, the FAM president said they will liaise with Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and clubs and transfer the funds direct to the players’ bank accounts.
Apart from Super League players and team officials, he said women’s football teams, regional league teams and elite referees will also benefit from the special fund.
The association has also increased annual subvention for FAM affiliates such as National Women’s Football Association, National Youth Football Association and National Referees Association by 50 percent. The affiliates get K5 million each.
Super League players and clubs have welcomed FAM initiative saying it will go a long way in cushioning the impact of the global pandemic on footballers’ lives.
Nyasa Big Bullets captain Chimango Kayira said: “This is timely intervention from Fifa and FAM. We thank them for the consideration. Ever since the games were stopped, survival has been a huge problem. We thank FAM for the generosity.”
His Blue Eagles counterpart Micium Mhone said most Super League teams cannot support players in the absence of gate revenue.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said the initiative is great news as it will lessen the burden of clubs’ obligation on the payment of wages. Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman and Karonga United general secretary Ramzy Simwaka, whose teams are self-sponsored, said this is a great initiative.
“But FAM should have started this immediately. June is very far. We will hardly survive in the next few months,” Osman said.
As part of social responsibility in the wake of the outbreak, FAM has as well offered its Luwinga Technical Centre premises in Mzuzu to the Ministry of Health as a quarantine centre for Covid-19.