Malawi Queens players have described Malawi National Council of Sports’ delays to pay them K4.65 million in allowances for the Commonwealth Games and World Cup qualifiers as demotivating.
Each player is owed about K375 000.
Some of the players , who did not want to be mentioned, yesterday said they wonder why it takes too long for them to get their dues when their football counterparts, the Flames, hardly struggle for the same.
“Sometimes I ask myself why this world is so harsh to us netball players,” one of the players said.
“Just imagine we played in the Commonwealth Games over four months ago and the World Cup qualifiers three months ago, but up to now, we are yet to get a penny for our sweat.
Ntulumbwa: We need to
find extra funding
“Tell me, can the same happen with the national football team players? I don’t think so. I do not know why our hard work is always taken for granted.”
The Queens said they are owed K1.95 million game bonuses for three wins at the Commonwealth Games, K2.4 million for four wins at the World Cup qualifiers and K300 000 as local training allowances prior to the qualifiers
At least 13 players made it into the Commonwealth Games squad in Birmingham, England in July and, considering the rate of K50 000 game bonus per player, each is expected to get K150 000 for wins against Northern Ireland, Trinidad & Tobago and Wales.
At the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa in August, the Queens squad of 12 registered wins victories against Zambia Zimbabwe, e-Swatini and Kenya. It translates to a K200 000 bonus each player.
They are also entitled to K25 000 each for the five-day training ahead of the qualifiers, taking into account the K5 000 daily local training allowance.
While in South Africa, the Queens only got their travel allowance of $50 (about K41 250 then) a night per player for 12 nights after they threatened to boycott the World Cup qualifiers.
The players said they have been following up on their bonuses with the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM), who always say they are also waiting for the Sports Council to release the funding.
Another other player said: “When we complain about allowances, some people think we love money too much.
“But what they should know is that we work for it and we need it for our well-being. What is happening now is mental torture.”
On his part, NAM vice-president Chimwemwe Bakali yesterday said he would respond later as he needed to consult first.
Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa admitted that the Queens players are owed some money.
He said: “After NAM exhausted its budgetary allocation, we had to request for extra funding and we are waiting for a feedback. However, the players will eventually get their dues,” he said.
Ntulumbwa dismissed suggestions that there are ‘disparities’ in Queens’ allowance delays as compared to the Flames.
He said: “Government uses the same process as regards to national team’s allowances.
“It’s not true that government acts fast when dealing with the Flames.
“After NAM exhausted its allocation, we need to find extra funding, which does not fall from the skies.”
Former Queens player Annie Mopiha said the delays to pay players’ allowances could destabilise preparations for the Netball World Cup in South Africa next June.
She said: “I would also plead for pro-activeness seriousness in NAM administration as regards to frequently reminding the government as regards to the players allowances.
“I believe the Flames do not struggle much because Football Association of Malawi is good in this aspect.”
The Netball World Cup draw is expected to be conducted in the next seven days.
The Queens have just reclaimed the sixth position on World Netball Rankings released on Monday