Malawi tax payer to cough over K10m for coach Saintfiet

Despite being introduced as a volunteer coach for the Malawi national football team, the Flames newly recruited Belgian tactician Thom Saintfiet is likely to cost the poor taxpayer in Malawi over K10 million (about US $30,000) in his upkeep, allowances and air travel.

According to investigations by Nyasa Times, the coach, who is being accommodated at the spacious Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre is costing the tax payer close to K100, 000 (about US $300) a day in accommodation, food and other costs, an amount that is likely to shoot to about K10 million by the time the Flames line up against Nigeria in
September.

That, plus the money government is going to spend on the coach in allowances, air travel and other costs will add up to over K10 million for a coach, who has also been promised US $10,000 (about K3 million) for a win over Nigeria’s Super Eagles.

However, Saintfiet insists “I am not here for the money”.

Flames coach Tom  Saintfiet and assistant Ng'onamo at a local  game....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Flames coach Tom Saintfiet and assistant Ng’onamo at a local game….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The Belgian was appointed at the start of July on a two-month deal, tasked with steering The Flames past Nigeria in their final Group F qualifier on 6 September – a win would put them through to the play-offs.

And the 40-year-old is confident he can get the required result despite the recent sterile performance at the Cosafa Cup.

“I am not nervous about it. I know what I have to do and the association knows what needs to be done. I am very optimistic that the team will be ready for Nigeria,” he told reporters in Lilongwe at a news conference.

Saintfiet also said he is getting to know about local players as he is watching games.

Since he took over the mantle, the Flames lost both games to Zimbabwe 3-1 [in post-match penalties] and Angola 3-2 in Zambia where they failed to make it into the losers’ plate phase.

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