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Women footballers cry foul over Covid-19 relief funds

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Some women footballers in the country have cried foul for being excluded from the monthly stipends that Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is providing to top flight league players, officials and referees.

The country’s football governing body came up with the initiative to alleviate challenges being faced by the game’s major stakeholders due to Covid-19 pandemic which compelled the government to suspend all sports activities.

Fam started disbursing Special Covid-19 funds to TNM Super League players last month and rolled out the distribution of food packs to regional men’s teams and women football players on Wednesday.

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On top of the food packs, the association is also providing K200,000 to the women’s football teams to support operational costs.

However, the women footballers have asked the association to consider paying them monthly stipends, just like their male counterparts.

One of the players, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said women footballers should also be considered.

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“Some of us solely rely on football for a living; so suspension of the game has greatly affected us. We are of the view that Fam should have considered us with monthly stipends instead of the food packs. Some of us can use the money to start businesses while waiting for football resumption,” she said.

Fam Covid-19 Task Force Chairperson, Chimango Munthali, said the matter was under review.

“Giving money to the women footballers was discussed but due to limited resources, we could not manage. We will keep monitoring the situation and we are reviewing the package we are giving to the players so that we improve on it. We are looking at the situation as a parent,” Munthali said.

Fam set aside K350 million from its Fifa project funding to help the Super League players, officials and referees.

The association spent about K17 million to make the first payment last month.

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