The Flames and the Queens want their game bonuses hiked to K500 000 and K150 000 each respectively for a win which is far on the lower side to the K50 000 standardised bonus proposed by the Malawi national Council of Sports. (MNCS).
According to a document which Weekend Nation has seen, Council has also proposed a standardised training allowance of K5 000 each and $60 each as external allowance.
Currently, the Queens and the Scorchers get K1 000 each as daily training allowance and $50 each as external travel allowance. But Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) tops up the training allowance with an additional K1 000 each.
The Flames currently get K100 000 for a win, but their official bonus, which they get from government is K30 000 each, while Football Association of Malawi (FAM) supplements it with K70 000 each.
On the other hand, the Queens get K20 000 each.
Reacting to Sports Council’s proposal in an interview on Thursday, one of the Flames’ senior players described it as demotivating.
He said: “We have been complaining to FAM that our game bonus and training allowances have been on the lower side for far too long and after discussing the issue through our WhatsApp group, we resolved to request a review of the same through the team captain, but we have not received any feedback yet.”
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed receipt of the request from the Flames players, saying: “The increase of the game bonus to K30 000 was effected soon after the Flames qualified for the 2010 Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] and for sometime, they [players] have indeed been complaining that their allowances are on the lower side and need to reviewed.”
He said to cushion their [players] burden, FAM has been topping up the allowances using the association’s share of gate collections.
“Currently, in our books, we pay them K100 000 each as game bonus, but they are requesting that it should be hiked to K500 000 each.
“So, we appreciate the good gesture that has been demonstrated by Sports Council by reviewing the rates/allowances, but the increase is way below what the players are demanding.
“We will need to dig deeper into our coffers to bridge the gap. Motivation of the players is key to enhance their performance and it is critical that their monetary rewards and incentives are also highly considered,” said Nyamilandu.
The FAM boss also disclosed that apart from the games bonus, the Flames players have requested the scrapping off of training allowances and, instead, consider introducing a K250 000 each as appearance fee.
They also want their external allowances to be raised to $100 each per day.
Currently, the Flames get K6 000 each as daily training allowance (K3 000 each from FAM and government).
On her part, a senior Queens’ player also described the proposed revision of allowances by Sports Council “as a mockery to the players who give out something extra to put the country on the map”.
She said: “For what we do, we deserve better. In fact, we are one of the least paid teams in the world yet we do the country proud. During our informal meetings as players, we suggested that hiking our game bonus to between K100 000 and K150 000 would be ideal, otherwise what we get is peanuts.”
Just like his FAM counterpart, NAM president Khungekile Matiya said while they appreciate Sports Council’s gesture, “it could have been better”.
She said: “I haven’t seen the Council’s document on the proposed allowance revision, but when we met the Minister of Youth and Sports [Ulemu Msungama] a couple of weeks ago, the issue of allowances came up as one of the challenges that we face and he expressed disappointment with the current rates.
“So, we expected the allowances to be a be higher, but at least there is an improvement. We also expect to supplement the allowances with the sponsorship from FDH Bank.”
Ministry of Sports and Culture spokesperson Simon Mbvundula said they were received Sports Council’s proposal and they have sent it to the minister for his perusal and direction.
But Msungama said he was yet to get the document.
On the Queens’ expectations on allowances, NAM general secretary Carol Bapu said they never raised the issue formally.
“If that is their position, then they need to speak out because they are suffering in silence which is not good,” she said.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said the allowances being requested by the Flames are too ambitious taking into consideration the economy. In Malawi, sport has not reached a point whereby such demands can be justified.
“Sports as an industry is not yet commercial and fully professional to attract imminent sponsors who can cough such amounts. Much as our sportsmen and women deserve the best in terms of remunerations, for now let’s go by Sports Council’s suggestions.”