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FOOTBALL PARTNERS HEALTH

FOOTBALL PARTNERS HEALTH

Football Association of Malawi-FAM has finally come in agreement with Medical Aid Society of Malawi MASM in
helping the country’s players to seek medical attention.

The initiative comes following the view of FAM on how the players help in economic stability and giving entertainment to the society, as such, the agreement will see players in the country access health
services in any MASM approved hospital or clinic in the country.

The health service which will be provided for ten years and to be reviewed yearly will cost 18 million Kwacha in the initial year with both parties contributing half of the amount (9 million Kwacha each). FAM will be paying the half of the amount to MASM on behalf of the players and their clubs. Each player is expected to benefit health assistance worth 1.4 million Malawi kwacha a year.

Over 800 players playing in the Super League, Women’s Football and the National Team are expected to benefit
from the contract. There is also an expectation of including former national team legends in the next review of the
scheme. The players will benefit under the specially formed scheme called Econo-sport.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Blantyre on February 25,2021, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the program is part of the association’s strategy to improve players welfare, motivate and improve professionalism
among the athletes.

“This signing is the birth of highly competitive players because it will make players to put much effort on the ground as previously players had to think twice before fully committing themselves in the game as such records have it that some athletes left the game early because of injuries,” Nyamilandu said.

The agreement is also there to thrust sports in the country to take another extra step. Players that will be accessing
the medical services are those under the Football Players Association-FPA hence the encouragement to join the
Association to be part of beneficiaries. “It is an assurance of making progress in football in our country. For now, things will change in the football arena,” he said.

In his remarks MASM Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Chikoti said the association has partnered with FAM as
part and parcel of social work in giving back to the community.

Chikoti further said through the service that will be provided and paying 9 Million Kwacha will help in boosting soccer in Malawi and ease the burden players have been facing while pursuing their career.

“We want to make this as a lifetime partnership and we are strongly ready to do this kind of relationship with FAM, we also hope that it will last forever with future renewal and agreements,” Chikoti said.

“It’s sad when we look back at cases of players being sick or injured, we had in the past, because we failed our players access medical care. We did not look at their humanity aspects, but just theiron-field exploits,” he said.

Commenting on the same president for Super League of Malawi-SULOM Tiya Somba Banda said the deal is a dream come true since it has always been his wish to make it happen for the players.

“This deal moves us towards fulfilling our all-inclusive view of players welfare not in isolated packages where we want them to have medical cover, mandatory wages and insurance,” said Banda.

Banda added that the deal was once agreed in 2015 but didn’t go through because teams failed to pay the
monthly premiums.

President of Football Players Association Jimmy Zakazaka said the deal will encourage young players to take
football as a career and not a passing time activity.

The action has also been supported by the football clubs saying it will ease the burden of medical bills for its players as they will be benefiting from the scheme.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

IS GOVERNMENT NOT FAILING ON INQUIRIES

Since Malawi attained multiparty democracy in 1994, the civil service and other government employees have not been disciplined enough. It takes decades for government to react on disciplinary issues committed by its employees in a form of punishment or dismissal.Technically such mannerism kills the progress of every nation. Noticing that public servants are squandering taxpayer’s money, it is enough reason to look into the matter seriously.

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