Sports Perspective: Football forgets its stars quickly
Players can heave a sigh of relief after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) introduced Players’ Welfare Fund.
We are told that the fund will be managed by Fam and it will be used to pay for medical bills of players when they are injured and sick. The money will come from the percentage of gate takings of the clubs.
Instead of getting 25 percent, the clubs would be getting 23 percent from the net while Super League gate shares have been reduced from 10 percent to seven percent.
However, it is surprising that Malawi National Council of Sports’ share is still at 25 percent. I do appreciate that it is not that easy for government to reduce its share because there are so many procedures which it needs to follow before making a decision.
But we hope sooner or later government would also consider reducing its shares and contribute to this fund.
We all appreciate that off the pitch players welfare is of paramount importance and there is need to guard it jealously.
There are many players whose careers were cut short because of lack of proper care from administrators.
Some players have chased their football dreams but sadly never realised them fully because of things such as injuries. Today these players are wandering beggars.
Football rakes in millions of kwachas in the country, but sadly, players go for months without salaries and their welfare off the pitch seems to be none of the clubs’ concern.
It appears many clubs only value and treasure the players during the 90 minutes and do not care what happens to the players afterwards.
We hope that this initiative by Fam is the beginning of good times in Malawi football.
The problem is that most Malawians suffer from the chronic disease of lack of continuity. Let us sincerely hope that this initiative will continue.
However, my simple advice is: Fam needs to clearly outline who is entitled to benefit from this fund. There is a danger that those who served this nation 30 years ago would still want to benefit from this fund. That would create confusion.
Let us hope that shortly, Fam can also introduce a pension fund for players as a fall-back position in the event of injury, death or retirement.
I have known football for decades and I know it forgets its stars very quickly.
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