Super League players have been urged to avoid flashy lifestyle and invest in various projects to build on the earnings realised through football. Captains for some of the top teams in the country have said this in light of the ordeal they are going through as a result of suspension of football activities due to Covid-19 activities. Most players have had their salaries cut due to the pandemic whereas others have gone months without pay. Nyasa Big Bullets skipper John Lanjesi said time is ripe for local footballers to save and invest from the little they make from the game.
“Life has been hard as it is not easy to pay rentals. The cost of living is no longer the same. Some players have even changed diet as it is difficult to afford a proper meal from our salaries. Most of us can’t believe this is really happening. This pandemic has taught us [players] a lifetime lesson to start making savings,” Lanjesi said.
Similarly, Civo Service United player Raphael Phiri said players must learn to invest as natural disasters could happen anytime.
“This is the lowest moment of every player’s life in the country. If only we had some savings and investments we would not been starving as is the case now. I hope we have seen it all and we need to start making some savings,” he said.
However, Mighty Tigers captain Willy Saenda felt savings alone would not be enough as it was unclear how long the pandemic would last.
“We have been hit from all corners. This is a big lesson learnt. Let’s hope most of us will now grow to start looking to the future and make more investments when football returns,” he said.
Be Forward Wanderers captain Alfred Manyozo jr said the pandemic was the worst period for most players.
“Some players have been evicted from houses because of failure to pay rent and others have moved to lowcost houses. Some players have also abandoned stylish lifestyle and have been humbled to a normal status as they can’t make enough money. Time has come for players to start exploring other business ventures, when we recover otherwise this is a bad experience,” he said.
Sporting activities, including the football season in the country, remain suspended since Malawi was declared a state of national disaster on March 20. Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has been supporting selected players, referees and officials through Fifa funds.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.