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Fam exhausts Covid relief funds

IN FINANCIAL WOES—Ntopwa take on Red Lions

NYAMILANDU—Fifa bail-out was one-off

Desperation has hit some Super League teams after learning that hoping that Fam will re-introduce the support in form of monthly stipends and grants to players, officials and clubs after the government banned spectators from watching games as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Fam President Walter Nyamilandu confirmed that the association’s Covid Relief Support package to the Super League had been exhausted and there were no spare funds in the Covid initiative.

“In any case, there is no extra funding from Fifa for continued support. It was made very clear that the Fifa-bail out was one-off.

“Under the circumstances, the clubs are being urged to fend for themselves using sponsorship funds and any other means of fundraising. The economic hardship that has been brought about by Covid has not spared the football industry,” he said.

Nyamilandu pleaded with the clubs to come up with measures to overcome the situation.

“We will need to endure the tough times by coming up with austerity measures to weather the storm. In such difficult moments, we are urging all concerned stakeholders to be able to sacrifice or forgo certain expenses as a way of cutting costs; otherwise, business as usual won’t work in this era of Covid,” he said.

Apparently, Fam has disbursed K899 million of the K1.35 billion budget in the relief package.

Nyamilandu said Fam delivered support in form of monthly stipends, relief food packages and grants to players, officials, clubs and affiliates.

“We will dispense the balance of K451 million by the end of the 2020- 21 football season. The (K451m) balance belongs to other sectors that partially received their allocation or didn’t receive at all such as Women’s Football, Regional Associations, Regional League Clubs, Youth Football, Beach Football, PPE and National Teams,” he said.

However, Chitipa United General Secretary Duma Ngoma said it would be difficult to complete their assignments this season due to financial woes.

“The situation has been made worse due to restrictions stopping supporters from watching games. We were not collecting much but we were not able to get a starter pack from the gates. Fam should reconsider introducing the grants. Otherwise, we owe the players a lot,” he said.

Karonga United Chairperson Mathews Tulombolombo echoed the statements.

“We are facing serious financial problems. It is bad that supporters are no longer allowed into venues. The players seem to understand our situation. However, we need Fam’s support,” he said.

Ntopwa Football Club Technical Director Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman asked Fam to consider requesting funding from the government.

“The money we were getting from the gates was not enough but we were able to complement our budget using it. As it is, let Fam request the government to assist us,” he said.

Similarly, Tigers Chairperson Sydney Chikoti said the club was hoping that Fam would source funds to support struggling teams.

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