The Football Association of Malawi in conjunction with the Super League of Malawi has signed a 10-year partnership with the Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) on the provision of Medical Cover to football players.
The tailor-made scheme called Econo- Sport is worth K18 million a year and will cover 800 players from the Super League clubs, Women’s Regional Leagues and Nationals teams.
FAM has stepped in to pay the premiums on behalf of the clubs and players and will be contributing K9 million a year with MASM contributing the other half.
Each player will be covered up to a maximum of K1.4 million a year.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu Manda said the programme is part of FAM’s strategy to improve players’ welfare and produce high performing athletes that are highly motivated, committed and professional, driven by the hunger for success and a secured future.
“The signing of this contract gives peace and total assurance to our football players that from today they can now fully commit themselves on the pitch knowing that their health is well covered.
“Our players will now stop begging for help in order to get decent medical treatment whenever need arises.
“What this means is that our players will be guaranteed to get first class professional medical attention by qualified practitioners. I am a very happy person,” he said.
Nyamilandu also encouraged all football players to join the Players Association for effective bargaining as there is power in unity.
MASM Chief Executive Officer Sydney Chikoti said the Society would like to contribute to the easing of football players suffering from accessing descent medical services.
“We want to partner with football for a very long time and this will be a long-life deal. But for a start it will be a 10-year partnership reviewed every year.
“Our expectation is that we will get more visibility and understanding of our services not just among football players but the entire football fraternity,” said Chikoti.
Sulom President Tiya Somba Banda said the signing of the deal fulfils his vision of humanising the player.
“It’s sad when we look at the players’ illness cases we had in the past, because we failed our players on access to medical care. We did not look at their humanity aspects but just their on-field exploits.
“This deal moves us towards fulfilling our holistic view of players welfare not in isolated packages where we want them to have professional contracts with Medical cover, mandatory wages and Insurance. We will now explore the other two,” said Banda
Football Players Association President Jimmy Zakazaka said the deal will encourage more players to take football as a career as it guarantees protection and safety.
“We would like to thank FAM and Sulom for the initiative. This is a big step in improving the players welfare. Most clubs are struggling financially to pay their players and can’t manage to cover medical issues a situation that exposed our members,” he said.