Sports Minister talks tough on Malawi players’ welfare

Minister of Sports Enock Chihana on Tusday took to task officials from his ministry, Football association of Malawi (FAM) and Malawi National Council of Sports for failing to address national team players houses issues which he directed last year.

Chihana on behalf of government pledged to offer regular Malawi national team players Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) houses as part of a drive to improve their welfare.

But when he visited Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday morning to address the players as they prepare for their first leg encounter against Namibia, the Sports and Youth Minister said he was surprised to note that despite government directive on houses for Flames, there is nothing concrete on the ground.

“I am surprised that up to now the issue is yet to be finalised despite my directive last year. Responsible people on the matter are all here. When l ask Mr [Justin] Saidi he puts the blame on [George] Jana at Sports council and when l ask Jana he said FAM is yet to provide us with names. Which is which now,” queried Chihana.

Patrick Mabedi shaking hands with Sports Minister  Enock Chihana....Photo

Patrick Mabedi shaking hands with Sports Minister Enock Chihana….Photo

Chihana said it was unfortunate that sometimes players are neglected as if that they are not national assets.

“These are national assets and we need to address their grievances. Why should we allow a player to rent a shabby house at Mbayani or Mchesi?” he quizzed.

Instead the minister urged his officials at ministry of youth and sports to push for the matter so that this year Flames players should be rented in MHC houses.

Chihana also wants FAM to review the team’s allowances and bonuses.

The Flames get K30 000 game bonus each for a win, half this amount for a draw and nothing for a loss, which Chihana said was much on the lower side to motivate the players.

Said the minister: “The bottom line is that we want their welfare to be looked into because, being national team players, they are national assets and they need to be motivated for them to give out their best for the cause of their motherland.

Word of encouragement

The minister then urged the players to go to Namibia with the winning spirit not a draw or defeat.

“Let’s all go to Namibia to fight for three points because if we secure victory it will be a walk over in the second leg in Lilongwe,” said Chihana.

Chihana also said with the coaching trio of Eddington Ng’onamo, Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi , government has confidence that the Flames will raise the Malawi flag high.

He also assured the players that government is committed to make sure that the team secures more friendly games before any competitive game.

Flames caretaker coach Eding’ton Ng’onamo assured Malawians of good results in Namibia stating that his squad will do what it takes to secure three points.

Ng’onamo said any victory against the Brave Warriors will ease pressure on the players in their next game against Kenya at home.

He however urged Malawians to give them support as the team is scheduled to leave for Botswana on Sunday  where they will play a friendly match before connecting to Namibia for the epic battle.

Assistant coaches: Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi sharing some notes before training....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Assistant coaches: Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi sharing some notes before training….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Chihana arriving at Kamuzu stadium....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Chihana arriving at Kamuzu stadium….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Ndaziona Chatsalira ready for  morning training session...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Ndaziona Chatsalira ready for morning training session…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Flames players starting their training session with a prayer...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Flames players starting their training session with a prayer…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Fischer Kondowe having some light moments with the ministry of sports official...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Fischer Kondowe having some light moments with the ministry of sports official…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

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