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Fam backtracks on referees Covid-19 relief

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UNAWARE—Kalichero

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has backtracked on its earlier decision to pay some elite referees half pay as a Covid-19 relief package saying all the 186 will get the full pay.

Originally, Fam was planning to give K40, 000 to the elite referees who are jobless whereas those working elsewhere were supposed to get half the amount.

However, Fam Competitions and Communications Director, Gomezgani Zakazaka, said they reversed the decision after thorough consultation.

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“We are going to pay K40, 000 to each of the 186 referees who officiate at top level. Of course there was a suggestion that referees who are working should get K20, 000 but it was resolved that they should all receive the same amount [K40, 000],” said Zakazaka who is also Fam Covid-19 Relief Fund Desk Officer.

National Referees Association general secretary, Chris Kalichero, said they were waiting for official communication on the matter.

Last week Fam rolled out its Covid-19 Relief Fund Initiative after paying out monthly stipends to 431 Super League players and team officials amounting to K17.2 million on Thursday.

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Zakazaka said the association was delighted to have fulfilled its pledge to bail out Super League stakeholders.

“We made a commitment to help our players and officials who are struggling financially and we are happy that we have fulfilled our promise. We have paid 431 because the other 94 are not registered on our online stakeholders’ registration platform, Mpira Connect,” Zakazaka said.

Meanwhile, the competition’s director said another phase of the relief initiative will target 62 regional teams where 62 teams 30 players and officials per team will receive food packs.

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