Referees in Zomba continue to boycott Malawi School Sports Association (Massa) Airtel U-17 Rising Stars Football Tournament citing low game allowances.
The tournament, which started on Saturday, is being played in boys and girls categories at Mulunguzi and Malindi secondary schools in Zomba. The games are being officiated by non-formal referees.
Zomba District Referees Association (ZDRA) chairperson Dennis Nguluwe said the amount being offered by the Massa district organising committee is on the lower side.
“They are offering us K13 000 [about $32] as officiation fees, but we are saying the amount is too little for a set of referees to officiate 15 games for boys and another six games for girls. We also wonder why they have allocated K17 000 [about $42] to administration.
“We have tried to negotiate with the committee, but to no avail, only to see unqualified referees taking charge of the games,” said Nguluwe.
He said the referees will also not be available in the final stages of the tournament.
Massa chairperson for Zomba, Gresham Nkhoma, said his committee will try to reach an agreement with the referees. He insisted that his committee has only received K30 000 (about $75) for the whole tournament.
Police Secondary School beat Zomba Catholic Secondary School 1-0 while Likangala beat Mulunguzi 3-1.