In an unprecedented development, the dream to have domestic footballers on medical insurance schemes has come true after the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) signed a contract with Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm) yesterday.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda said yesterday the scheme—triggered by outrage over the death of Big Bullets defender Douglas Chirambo on Sunday— will cover a maximum of 30 players for each Super League team.
“The medical cover is under the Sulom group scheme. This entails that a club can choose to cover players or the technical personnel as long as it does not exceed the maximum number of 30. The cover includes football related injuries sustained on the pitch among other ailments,” explained Banda through a statement.
The cover will be per year/season with premiums pegged at K54 000 for each club. Under the mandatory scheme, all registered players will be required to go under a medical test at a nearest Masm clinic.
Earlier, Banda said a percentage from gross gate collections for each team will go directly towards the premiums. Chirambo’s death after succumbing to a brain tumour, has fast-tracked the scheme.
Azam Tigers chairperson Sydney Chikoti, who is Masm chief executive officer, welcomed the scheme, while confirming that “Sulom are consulting people at our office.”
Bullets presented to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) forms last December indicating that Chirambo was healthy and registered him for CAF 2015 Champions League, which he never played in as he was hospitalised in Thyolo.
FAM facility and transfer matching system manager Casper Jangale confirmed that clubs just make players sign forms confirming their health status without involving medical doctors.
“Players have to be checked thoroughly and all this is enshrined in club licensing which will be rolled out at a minimal stage this season and in full next season. Secondly, you cannot talk about players’ welfare when clubs are failing to meet basic government minimum salary of K15 000,” explained Jangale.