Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has given out money in different amounts to its stakeholders ahead of the resumption of the game on October 17.
The money comes from $1.3 million (about K975 million) that world football governing body, Fifa, and Confederation of African Football have given out to Fam for Covid-19 relief.
Super League of Malawi will get K15 million for salaries and capacity building while each of the country’s 16 TNM Super League teams will pocket K10 million each for operational costs.
Fam’s three regional associations will receive K22.5 million each for governance and operations whereas K7.5 million has been earmarked for the Malawi Football Coaches Association’s governance and operations.
National Referees Association will also pocket K7.5 million with K15 million going to Beach Soccer Association’s governance, marketing and capacity building initiatives.
Provision of personal protective equipment for elite league players, match organisers, national teams and other Fam events has been allocated K112.5 million.
Football Players Association, Football Journalists Association and Sports Writers Association will get K7.5 million each for governance and operational costs.
Registered regional premier league teams will receive K1 million each from an allocation of K62 million.
Fam will release the funds under the Covid-19 Phase Two Relief Program meant for football restart.
Speaking at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre Thursday, Fam president Walter Nyamilandu bemoaned the suffering football players and officials have endured since March when the government suspended sports activities.
“Clubs, associations and other stakeholders will all get something to give them a good start for the new season. When football returns, we will make sure that all the Covid-19 prevention measures as directed by the government are adhered to,” Nyamilandu said.
He then cautioned all stakeholders against commencing organised football activities before October 17, saying this would not be in line with government recommendations.
Civo Service United General Secretary, Ronald Chiwaula, commended Fam for considering Super League teams that spend millions to fulfil fixtures throughout the season.
“Fam has indeed done well to consider us in this manner. However, I would have loved if the teams were engaged in the first place to submit their respective budgets before deciding how much to give them.
“We have some teams that travel long distances to play their games. A good example is Chitipa United and Karonga United. These two teams have no sponsor and spend a fortune to travel to Blantyre for games.
“Those of us who operate from the Central Region are a bit better off but teams in the North and South are the most disadvantaged. I am of the view that we should not have been given equal amounts. Consideration should have been made based on where teams are coming from,” Chiwaula said.
Karonga General Secretary, Ramzy Simwaka, said Fam should come out clearly on whether the support will be monthly or not.
“We are going into the new season amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We hear supporters will not be allowed to watch our games. This means there will be no revenue from gate collections.
“We use money from gate collections to pay players’ allowances and salaries. We therefore remain unsure as to what the future holds for us in this aspect. However, we are thankful for Fam’s consideration,” Simwaka said.
The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 gave the greenlight for sport to return on October 17 after more than six months of inactivity.
The government suspended sports activities on March 20 in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.
During a meeting with sports associations in Blantyre on Saturday, Malawi National Council of Sports announced that competitions would be allowed to start on November 9.
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.