The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has clarified the Flames’ K36 million (US$80 000) travel expenses to the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup in South Africa, saying the budget will cater for several costs at the event.
FAM was yesterday responding to questions raised by some soccer followers on how the costs of Flames return trip to South Africa reached K36 million when the actual fare for the entire squad could not even exceed K5 million (US$11 111).
However, FAM’s head of finance and administration Christopher Mdolo told The Nation yesterday that the sum is meant for all expenses including return air tickets, external travel allowances, local camping and laundry.
He added travelling by road could be a bit more expensive than by air because although, they could use their bus, they would have a number of stop-overs that could require a lot of money for accommodation and food along the way.
“In fact, we are running on a mean budget as compared to other participating countries such as Zambia, who have pumped in at least K150 million (US$333 333) for their team,” he said.
According to Mdolo, return air tickets would cost about K4.6 million (US$10 222) while external travel allowances and game bonuses would be K10 million and K7.5 million (US$16 667), respectively, assuming the Flames would win all their games up to the finals.
He added that the money was also meant for the Flames’ 12-day local camping (K5 million) and K1.3 million for travel expenses of at least six professional players from their bases in South Africa and Mozambique.
“Apart from ferrying the local-based players to Cosafa Cup venue in South Africa, we also need to pay for the travel costs of Robin Ngalande from Cape Town, Limbikani Mzava from Bloemfontein and Mozambique-based players Charles Swini, Frank Banda, Chimango Kayira and Zicco Mkanda,” Mdolo said.
He further said that while the Cosafa Cup organising committee would foot accommodation and food bills for Flames’ 25 members, they have to pay for accommodation, food and travel allowances for the extra four officials that have travelled with the team for special assignments.
“Among the Flames’ contingent, we have our technical director John Kaputa and technical adviser Andy Dell, who are there to spy on other teams’ tactics so as to improve our quality of play. The two will need at least $1 500 (about K660 000) each for 10 days,” he said.
“Apart from that, the team also requires some nourishment such as energy drinks, water and fruits that need to be bought from our coffers. All these things are part of our mean budget,” he said.
Mdolo explained that FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda has travelled to the competition on Cosafa ticket as member of the competition’s organising committee.
The Flames, who will face Mozambique on Sunday, have travelled with 20 players and nine technical staff, namely head coach Young Chimodzi, his deputy Jack Chamangwana, team manager Franco Ndawa, team doctor Levi Mwale, goalkeepers trainer Philip Nyasulu, Liason officer James Sangala, leader of delegation Pikawo Ngalamila, Kaputa and Dell.