Sulom owes referees K4.2 million
The National Referees Association (NRA) has disclosed that the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) owes referees K4.2 million in unpaid officiation fees.
NRA General Secretary Chris Kalichero confirmed the development Tuesday, saying Sulom paid them K5 million but the body was yet to pay the remaining sum of K4.2 million.
“We expect Sulom to pay us the money before the start of next season. It has been long overdue,” Kalichero said.
According to Kalichero, Sulom informed referees that the delay to settle the fees was due to lack of funds.
“This has been the trend for the past five or six seasons. We are used to officiate games for a meagre allowance. As you know, we are among the least paid in Sadc,” he said.
Kalichero said a set of referees get about K125,000 per game—translating to K25,000 per person.
In addition, the league governing body provides transport to officiation panel.
Sulom President Tiya Somba Banda said the referees will get their dues soon.
“We are yet to receive payment from our creditors as well and we will be paying referees as, and when, we receive payments as well,” Somba-Banda said.
The outcry comes just a day after Sulom entered into partnership with Kwezy Buses to provide transport for referees ahead of the 2023 season.
According to the agreement, Kwezy will be ferrying match officials (referees, match commissioners and referees’ assessors) to matches during intercity assignments between Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Somba Banda said the agreement would improve the quality of officiation in the league and also reduce complaints that teams have on officiation as issues of familiarity will be significantly reduced since referees will be assigned games across the regions at no cost.
“This is value addition. This agreement is the first of its kind in the country and makes Kwezy Buses the official Sulom referees transport partner. Every season we spend a lot of money on travel costs for referees. With this agreement, Kwezy will be ferrying the referees at no cost,” he said.
On their part, Kwezy Buses Managing Partner Ben Vitsitsi said they decided to partner Sulom as one way of contributing to the professionalisation of the Super League and also to improve the quality and standards of refereeing in the country.
The agreement is annual but subject to renewal at the end of the 2023 season
A total of 240 matches are played in a top flight league every season.
Nyasa Big Bullets defended the TNM Super League title for a fourth straight year after collecting 73 points.