Sports Association’s in the country have been challenged to setup welfare fund to serve as a rescue package for both former and active athletes undergoing some tough time.
According to Minister of Sports Ulemu Msungama the establishment of the Welfare Fund by the sports associations could potentially save the plight of athletes who slowly turn into beggars when they retire.
Msungama made the appeal at Kaundi in Karonga district after visiting the headstone for former Flames international shot stopper Donnex Gondwe, recently constructed by his former club Silver Strikers FC.
“In most cases athletes earn a lot of praise while active in their sports codes and when they retire, these athletes are completely forgotten as if they contributed nothing to the development of their sport.
“Donnex Gondwe contributed massively to the Flames continental and global standing in his hay days and therefore, it is unacceptable for the sports fraternity to honour our heroes both when they are alive and even after death.”
Therefore, let me commend Silver Strikers for constructing this beautiful resting home Donnex, the country’s revered goalkeeper of all times”, Msungama said.
The Minister of Sports who was accompanied by the Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu then advised the Association and other sports Associations to develop deliberate policies that will incorporate the setting up of Welfare committees and trust funds.
“Let’s sit down and formulate deliberate policies with an aim of fostering the player’s welfare so that we save our faces from public shame.
“Recently, we lost another Flames, Dwangwa and Bullets FC goaltender Trust Lunda, whose story after forced retirement is not pleasant to tell as he died a sad person since the nation and clubs he served diligently hardly supported him during his sickness”, Msungama lamented.
Monies are hard to find these days and the only way this fund can effectively function is by putting in place deliberate policies that may for instance see clubs contributing to the fund through gate revenue”, proposed the minister.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu concurred with the minister’s observation and complained that the FA’s initiative to establish such a fund is facing resistance from super league clubs.
“As you are aware some 2-3 years ago we formed the Football Players Association and key among the core objectives was the setting up of the players Welfare fund.
Through this fund, it was arranged that a single percent of the gate collections will directly be remitted to fund, but from the word go, the clubs have vehemently resisted the proposal”, Nyamilandu complained.
Msungama has since hailed former Silver Strikers players for contributing towards the construction of late Donnex Gondwe’s tombstone in his home district, Karonga.
During the brief ceremony, the only surviving son of late Donnex Gondwe presented a ball made from used plastic papers popularly known as Chikulunga.
The gift represented late Donnex Gondwe’s humble beginning as he is believed to have launched his football career using this plastic paper made ball in his home village before his rise to stardom.