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Overnight millionaires

Flames players pocket K2 million each as Fam fulfils pledge

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Alfred Gunda

Malawi National Football Team players and officials are smiling all the way to the bank after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) finally paid game bonuses to all players who participated in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

Players who featured in the Flames’ vital wins over South Sudan and Uganda pocketed the lion’s share, with K1 million each in game bonuses and the same amount for qualifying for the Afcon finals which will be played in Cameroon.

Towards the end of last year, Fam challenged the players to win more matches by raising their bonuses to K500,000 for a competitive match win, with unused substitutes getting half the amount.

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The gesture was extended to players that do not make it to the match day squad who are entitled to K125,000.

Players who featured in the two games in March pocketed K1 million each.

In October last year, Fam pledged a qualification bonus of K1 million each to players who featured in at least 75 percent of the total number of games in the qualifiers.

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This means players who were part of the squad in four or more of the Flames’ six Afcon qualifying matches have received K1 million each, with K500,000 going to each of the players who were part of the team for three matches.

Players who made the squad for two games and below received K333,000 each.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda said they were delighted to honour the pledge.

“We are committed to ensuring that the players are motivated by ensuring that we fulfil pledges we made. The K1 million is on top of their new game bonus of K500, 000 each, which yields a further K1 million for the last two matches against South Sudan and Uganda. We had to dig deep into our coffers to fulfil our promise as a reward for making Malawi proud.

“The turnaround of performance was incredible, having neither conceded a goal in the second round nor lost any match. We remain committed to motivating the players to go the extra mile by maintaining the new incentive policy which has worked to good effect,” Gunda said.

Flames captain Limbikani Mzava was quoted by Fam’s website confirming the development.

“We thank Fam for keeping the promise. Fam has never paid us late and we knew they would honour the pledge. We now shift focus to preparations for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers which start in June,” Mzava said.

The players and officials also received K1 million each from State President Lazarus Chakwera, who hosted them to a luncheon at Kamuzu Palace after the historic qualification.

Companies and organisations also showered the players with cash rewards in fulfilment of their respective pledges.

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