Malawi netball national team rivals South Africa’s Spar Proteas players have been offered R200 000 (about K10 million) each for reaching the top four at the Netball World Cup held in Liverpool, England from July 12 to 21.
South Africa’s telecommunications company, Telkom dangled R1 million (about K55 million) to each player if they won the competition.
In contrast, the Queens, who returned home on Tuesday, were not offered such luxury and incentives.
Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Francis Phiso led senior government officials and the sports fraternity to welcome the team at Kamuzu International Airport.
But the minister made a political statement, saying that President Peter Mutharika and the government were proud of the team’s achievement.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu said: “So far no company has offered the team anything.”
Upon arrival, Netball South Africa president Cecelia Molokwane announced that Telkom would give the players R200 000 each for their performance at the showpiece.
“South Africa’s stellar tournament did have some reward with goal defence Karla Pretorious being named Player of the Tournament,” she was quoted by ewn.co.za as having said.
South Africa made history by reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 1995 by losing to Australia by two points in a tightly contested affair.
Norma Plummer’s charge lost to hosts England in the 3rd/4th place play-offs.
The Netball South Africa presideent was also full of praise for the team.
“The girls have done us proud and we have to use this success to build to the 2023 World Cup,” she said.
Captain Bongi Msomi said she was extremely proud of the team.
Meanwhile, South African Airways congratulated the Queens through a full page advert published in yesterday’s local newspapers.
“South African Airways is proud of the Malawi Queens’ stunning achievement in the Netball World Cup. Congratulations to the Queens, Malawi’s pride,” reads the advert.
Malawi, ranked ninth in the world, finished sixth after an impressive performance that saw them beat Singapore, Zimbabwe and higher ranked Northern Ireland and Uganda.
They lost to eventual champions New Zealand, runners-up Australia and fifth-placed Jamaica.