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Foreign-based Queens players included on Covid-19 relief beneficiaries list

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Khungekile Matiya

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) has said foreign-based Malawi national netball team players are included on the list of beneficiaries of FDH Bank’s Covid-19 relief funding.

Reports were rife in local netball circles that the foreign-based players would be excluded from the list of the fund’s beneficiaries.

This came after some sections within the netball fraternity released a list of 30 players as beneficiaries of the funds. The list did not include the foreign-based stars.

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However, Nam president Khungekile Matiya Sunday dispelled the reports, saying all Malawi Queens players will get monthly stipends for four months.

“Our Covid-19 task force came up with a list of beneficiaries and it has been vetted. I can therefore categorically state that all national team players have been included on the list and they will receive their money.

“Even foreign-based players are on the list. They are our players just like their home-based counterparts. Therefore, we cannot exclude them from the beneficiaries’ list. We treat each other like a family and we value every netball player in the country,” Matiya said.

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The funds will be channeled directly into 30 players’ bank accounts.

About 30 Queens players will pocket K35,000 each to alleviate their challenges during the period of inactivity which came about because of the government’s suspension of sports activities across the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nam secured a K360 million sponsorship from FDH Bank early this year. Out of the sponsorship, Queens players will get K4.2 million for the next four months.

One of the players, Joana Kachilika, described the package as a timely relief.

“Netballers, just like everybody else, are struggling to make ends meet because there is no money being earned from games or training. For this reason, we are looking forward to the relief funds from FDH Bank. They will help us quite a lot. The majority of players solely depend on netball for a living. Now with the suspension of games and training, the players are getting nothing,” Kachilika said.

According to the latest list which The Daily Times has seen, foreign-based players such as Mwawi Kumwenda, Joyce Mvula, Towera Vinkhumbo and Lorraine Ngwira will also benefit from the package.

The list includes regular players such as Takondwa Lwazi, Caroline Mtukule, Grace Mwafulirwa, Bridget Kumwenda, Thandie Galeta, Rose Mkanda and Beatrice Mpinganjira.

Sport remains suspended in the country after former president Peter Mutharika declared a state of emergency on March 20 in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.

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