The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has today started the distribution of COVID-19 Releif Food packs to 2,490 players and officials of Regional Leagues and Women’s Football Leagues teams.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu officially launched the programme when he presided over the distribution of packs to Blantyre based teams.
Nyamilandu said FAM is pleased to have fulfilled the pledge to bail out its stakeholders who are facing hardships following the suspension of football due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.
“We made a pledge to help our players and officials who are suffering at the moment as they have lost source of income because they depend on football for a living.
“I had a chat with the players and I was touched to learn about their plight in the absence of football.
“Much as these players ply their trade in lower leagues and women’s leagues, they are feeling the pinch because that little income they get when football is in session is not coming.
“We believe the food packs will make a difference to the players and officials lives and FAM is committed to assist them during the period,” said Nyamilandu.
FAM used K360 million of its own money to launch the COVID Relief Fund to bail out its stakeholders before FIFA came up with a bailout plan of K1.3 billion last week.
“How the FIFA money will be used, we will be guided by FIFA and the FAM Executive will decide on how the relief support can be cascaded to other sectors of the football ecosystem.
“But FAM could not wait for FIFA all these months when our stakeholders were suffering and that’s why we took our money to launch this programme” he said.
One of the beneficiaries James Tambwali, a Hangover FC player, said: “We are grateful to FAM for what they have done, this is not a small gesture. The players are happy; our families are happy. This pandemic affected us badly because our job is to play football and our jobs stopped. We rely on football to survive, there is nothing else that we can do. So, it’s as if we are now unemployed, we cannot source money from anywhere else.”
FAM will distribute the packs, valued at K10,000 each, for a period of seven months.