Big Bullets FC players are reportedly demanding external allowance balances amounting to about $4 500 (about K2 million) as a condition to fulfil Saturday’s CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg against Fomboni FC.
According to one of the players who asked for anonymity, their position was communicated to team manager John Phiri to take it up with club management.
Except for reserve goalkeeper Chimwemwe Kumkwawa who only spent five days abroad, the rest of the players were offered $500 (about K225 000) each for the 10 days they spent outside the country.
The players got $250 (about K112 500) each as down payment in Tanzania en route to the Comoros and were promised the remainder upon arrival.
“Our chairperson [Kondie Msungama] promised to settle the balances upon arrival in Malawi. In fact, he said there was money which had already been sourced for that purpose.
“But we have still not been paid up to now and our fear is that after the Fomboni game, it will be difficult for them to pay us because their focus will be to raise funds for the next round of fixtures in the event that we go through. So, we have put up a condition that they pay us before Saturday’s game or else we will be reluctant to play,” said the player.
Phiri confirmed having been approached on the issue, but said he could not comment as it is beyond him.
“I am indeed aware of that issue, but it is beyond my jurisdiction as I only facilitate local allowances,” he said.
However, the club’s general secretary Harold Fote confirmed that he was aware of the issue and that efforts are being made to pay the players.
“A promise was indeed made to the players through the chairman that we would settle the balances upon arrival home and we have an obligation to fulfil that promise.
“The reason why we did not pay them was because the process came into collision with the weekend, but we are working round the clock to settle their dues,” said Fote, who however could not be drawn to state the exact date when the players will be paid.
Msungama also gave an assurance that the players dues will be settled before Saturday’s encounter.
Former Bullets and Flames captain Peter Mponda said it is imperative that the team should pay the players their dues as promised.
“If indeed the players were promised then the club has to ensure that they are paid before the return leg because it has the potential to affect their morale.
“Issues of allowances are very delicate because they play a crucial role in motivating or demotivating the players and the sooner they do that, the better so that the focus should purely be on the game,” said Mponda.