Malawi National Netball Team’s players have requested Airtel Malawi to channel the K6 million, which the company donated to the Queens on Tuesday, directly into the players’ bank accounts.
Following earlier pay disputes, the players are against Airtel sending the money through Netball Association of Malawi (Nam).
However, the players’ request might hit a snag as the company pays through a cheque in the name of the association, which unfortunately, the netballers do not trust.
Airtel Malawi donated the money for the players and officials to share in appreciation of the Queens’ third-place finish at the just-ended Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne, Australia.
But soon after Airtel presented the donation in Lilongwe, the players approached this reporter, saying they do not have faith in Nam.
The players feared the money might not reach the targeted individuals.
“We want Airtel to send the money directly into our accounts because we might get less if the money is sent through Nam,” said one of the players, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the players.
In reaction, Nam President, Rosy Chinunda, parried the players’ concerns, saying the donation will be used for the intended purpose.
“Let me assure Airtel that the money is for players and officials who travelled to Australia. The players should not get worried because they deserve the money,” Chinunda said.
Earlier, Airtel Malawi wanted to give each player K500, 000, but the money will be shared among 17 people that travelled to Australia, which means that each individual will receive over K300,000.
During the ceremony, Airtel Malawi’s Managing Director, Charles Kamoto, said the money was in appreciation of the Queens’ performance in Australia.
Airtel Malawi is the team’s official sponsor.
During the games, the Queens defeated Jamaica, England and South Africa and lost to New Zealand, England (in the first round) and Austrlia.
Airtel Corporate Communications Manager, Norah Chavula-Chirwa, said they were not aware of the players’ demands.
“This donation will, hence, be shared among the Malawi Queens’ players and their two coaches who led the team to this tremendous victory, with each of them (players and the coaches) getting K500,000,” Chirwa said.
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