Two days after Malawi News revealed that Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has shelled out around K17 million in hotel accommodation for Flames Romanian coach, Mario Marinica, Amaryllis Hotel has come out defending the expenses.
On Saturday, we reported how Fam’s decision to keep Marinica at the hotel since he came into the country in November last year is costing the association.
But, in reaction, Amarylls Hotel General Manager Ramy Raheed said Fam pays them K900,000 per month, an amount which, he said, caters for full services the hotel provides to Marinica.
“Amaryllis Hotel agreed to sponsor the national coach in kind by heavily subsidising his accommodation. The monthly fee is K1.5 million but because of our sponsorship agreement with Fam, we offered the price of K900,000 including breakfast,” he said.
According to him, “This is very competitive and cheaper than staying in a fully-furnished house where he could need to fund it himself”.
As part of the deal, Raheem said, the coach has access to free services such as internet, security, utilities, DStv and gym.
“We are also providing discount on food and beverage services at Amaryllis’ outlets,” he said.
And in defence of the expenditure, Fam Finance Director Christopher M’dolo claimed that the football body spends more on Meck Mwase than on Marinica.
According to M’dolo, Fam coughs K1.6 million per month on Mwase.
However, both M’dolo and Raheem could not state how much money the association has spent on Marinica’s bills.
But a source at Fam complained earlier about the body’s decision to keep Marinica at a hotel all this long.
“If he had lodged at the hotel in November and December, the situation would have been understandable because, that time, he was new to the country.
“Save for the time he travelled for assignments such as Airtel Top 8 Cup games and national team duty in Saudi Arabia and Cameroon, the TD has been staying at a hotel. He is a full time employee and he needs a permanent home,” the source said.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.