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Referees’ fees hiked

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Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has succumbed to National Referees Association’s (NRA) demand for a hike in allowances for the whistlemen this season.

NRA General Secretary, Chris Kalichero and Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba Banda, confirmed separately that a set of three referees and a fourth official would now be sharing K80,000, up from K60,000.

The increase comes a fortnight after Kalichero told The Daily Times they would ask Sulom to consider increasing transport, meal and accommodation allowances for referees, saying prices of commodities have risen.

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“We wanted K120,000 [for a set] but we have understood their position in view of the economic situation. The referees know how much they will be sharing,” Kalichero said on Monday.

Following the increase, each referee will be pocketing K18,666 per game, up from K15,000 whereas a reserve referee is entitled to K12,240 after a hike from K10,000. The remaining 15 percent or K12,000 is game levy for regional referees’ committees.

Somba-Banda on Thursday said the hike in the allowances was among the proposals which NRA presented during a meeting they had with them last week.

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“Transport consumes a lot of money, especially when going to stadiums such as Mangochi, Kasungu and Karonga. We have agreed on the referees’ dues but what remains is for us to agree on transport allowances,” Somba-Banda said.

The hike in referees’ allowances has seen Sulom’s budget for the whistlemen shoot from K16 million to K22 million, a figure which Somba-Banda said they did not budget for this season.

“But we anticipated it. It means that we have to dig deep into our pockets to get this money. The availability of Mangochi, Karonga and Kasungu stadiums has given us hope for more revenue, part of which can be channelled to the referees. For example a game between Nchalo United and Mzuni fetched around K100,000 at Mzuzu Stadium [a fortnight ago] but Karonga United’s match against Tigers at Karonga Stadium grossed K3 million,” he said.

Unlike in other countries, referees do not have a separate sponsor for their perks in Malawi.

In South Africa’s Absa Premier League, a referee earns K293, 220 (R4,887) per game before tax, while their assistants pocket K228,540 (R3,809).

The fees are applicable to league and cup competitions, according to Sowetan newspaper edition of February 11 2016. The Daily Times used K60+R1.

A referee earns K129,060 ($180) per match to officiate a Zimbabwe Premier League match and K114,720 ($160) for an assistant.

In Zambia, a referee pockets MK18,240 (240 Zambia Kwacha) for handling a top-flight league match. K76=1 Zambia Kwacha.

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