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Referees finally get Covid-19 pay

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has finally paid 156 elite referees their share of the Covid-19 package after they fulfilled all requirements.

The referees have received

K40, 000 each through their bank accounts.

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Fam Covid-19 Desk Chairperson, Gomezgani Zakazaka, said the transaction was completed on Thursday.

Zakazaka said the process faced delays as National Referees Association was yet to finalise various processes.

“We are pleased to announce that we have indeed paid the referees. We were about to pay 186 of them but as of Thursday we had managed to pay 156. This was so because account details for some of them were not yet ready. It is a great relief that we have finally sorted them out,” Zakazaka said.

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The amount was not what Fam had initially planned. The association had intended to pay the amount only to jobless referees while those in employment were set to receive half the amount.

This means that Fam has spent K6.24 million to pay the 156 referees.

Fifa referee Ishmael Chizinga confirmed receiving the package and thanked Fam for the gesture.

“I am very thankful to Fam for the payment. The money will go a long way in helping us sort out various challenges that we face on a daily basis. This is a welcome development,” Chizinga said.

Zakazaka said his association has also paid Nyasa Big Bullets players and other players who were left out from the first payment a fortnight ago.

“There was a misunderstanding between Fam and Bullets on how the package will be given out to Bullets players and technical panel members. This was not a big issue. We just wanted to follow the proper procedures. The Bullets players and technical panel members were sorted out in the course of the week and everything is in place,” Zakazaka said.

He said TN Stars players and officials are the only ones yet to receive their package as the Kasungu-based side only registered seven players with Mpira Connect.

“It is a must that every team should register its players and officials on Mpira Connect if they are to benefit from the package,” Zakazaka said.

He said they are yet to start distributing the relief package for regional Premier Division teams.

“Some of the regional teams have not yet registered with Mpira Connect but I am optimistic that those who have met the conditions will start receiving their package next week,” Zakazaka said.

Some 30 players from each of the 62 regional teams are expected to benefit.

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