Masters jet out on CAF mission

Days after threatening to withdraw due to lack of funds, Masters Security FC yesterday left for Uganda to fulfil their away CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round first-leg encounter against Proline FC tomorrow.

The development comes few days after the club’s owner Alfred Gangata threatened to withdraw the team from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) competition if government and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) did not financially assist them.

Masters (in green) against Angola’s Petro de Luanda in a previous competition

But despite not getting their expected financial support from the two entities, the team yesterday flew out of the country through the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.

Gangata was not available for comment, but Masters general secretary Christopher Njeula said the trip has been necessitated after “Masters Security Limited eventually acquired some payments that were stuck somewhere”.

On whether the TNM Super League outfit is now capable of financing its CAF assignments should the club progress to the next rounds of the continental competition, Njeula said: “We will see.”

Nevertheless, the club has travelled with a seemingly  psychologically affected squad as some of the travelling 18 players confided in The Nation that they have reluctantly accepted to make the trip as the club authorities have not yet paid them their outstanding three months salaries and game bonuses.

“We were told that we would get our pay before the trip, but nothing of that sort has happened,” said one of the players, who pleaded for anonymity.

When asked why they have accepted to travel before their salary issue was sorted out, the player said: “We were supposed to push this issue as a team, but some of our teammates go behind our backs to report to authorities and implicate a few individuals as perpetrators of the demand. Therefore, we have just abandoned the issue at the moment.”

The team’s captain Eneya Banda confirmed the development, but said the players have agreed to focus on their CAF assignment.

“Of course, the salary issue has affected most of us psychologically, but we have resolved to put everything behind and concentrate on the international match,” he said.

FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said he could not comment on the matter as he was in a meeting.

Football analyst George Kaudza Masina yesterday said it is good that Masters have made the trip to avoid penalties for withdrawing at the eleventh hour. But he was concerned with the team’s performance considering that the team has travelled with disgruntled players

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