Government plays double standards on JK testimonial
Some football analysts have hit at the government for failing to scrap off its 20 percentage share it got from gate collections during the Joseph Kamwendo Testimonial at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
Ironically, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Malawi National Council of Sports did not take their cut of 10 percent and 5percent respectively.
A member of the organising committee, Steve Madeira, said their request hit a snag but they were not worried.
“The most important thing is that the testimonial took place. There was a need to support this guy in many ways just like the other corporate institutions did. We even thank the government for allowing us to use the facility although they got the share. Of course we salute both Fam and Sports Council for their gesture,” he said.
Former Fam acting General secretary, George Kaudza Masina, said Fam, Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports were supposed to take a leading role in the testimonial match considering how much the player has contributed to Malawi football.
“This being the first of its kind, maybe these entities had no clue what a testimonial match is all about because this was the first of its kind here in Malawi. Kamwendo’s request to government to scrap of 20 percent of gate fees for using Kamuzu Stadium for his testimonial match was very much in order and we should believe that Fam and Sports Council did the same,” he said.
Masina said the government has indeed learnt a lesson from Kamwendo for organising his own testimonial match.
“From now on they will thrive to be in involved in testimonial matches for the other legends. They have now learnt what a testimonial match is all about and its significance. For Kamwendo it’s just kudos to him for staging such a brilliant match to signify his exit from competitive football,” he said.
A former player, who did not want to be mentioned, said it was a bitter lesson to the local sports authorities.
“Look at how many legends this country has produced but we have never thought of giving them respect. Some of the legends from late 1970’s are still alive but we are yet to recognise them. Should it take Kamwendo to teach us what should be done?” he asked.
Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, said they supported Kamwendo by helping source sponsorship.
“Fam gave him a helping hand in securing sponsors for air tickets and accommodation,” Nyamilandu told The Sunday Times edition of yesterday.
Sports Council Acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, said they did not get their cut as one of honouring Kamwendo.
“We are entitled to five percent of the net but as an arm of the government we opted not to take it,” he said.
However, a source from the government justified its move saying it wanted to cater of water and electricity bills.
Kamwendo used his testimonial to launch his foundation which targets the needy from rural areas.
During the testimonial Kamwendo included some former internationals like Bafana striker, Sibusiso Zuma, Lele Mbele and Tonic Chabalala.
As we went to press, Kamwendo, Zuma and other officials were at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital making a donation.