Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has dismissed allegations that Malawi national netball team players were given junk food during the just-ended Africa Netball Championship in Cape Town, South Africa.
A message, with pictures of the Queens sitting under a tree, went viral on social media, claiming that the team was buying food from Shoprite supermarket because they were not given allowances.
In a statement signed by NAM president Khungekire Matiya, the association said the allegations are false.
“Netball Association of Malawi would like to categorically refute the story being carried through social media that the Queens, who participated in the just ended Africa Netball Cup in Cape Town, are were provided with food bought from Shoprite supermarket.
“The picture in the story is showing a few netball players and three officials relaxing under a tree after their game against Zimbabwe. The players and the technical officials in the picture were meeting Malawians living in Cape Town who came to cheer the team and brought them some foodstuffs,” reads part of the statement.
The statement also dismissed allegations that government did not provide enough money for players’ allowances.
“The girls were having their meals at Stayeasy Hotel where they were residing. The girls have received their allowances for all the days they have been here.”
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said the national team was well funded at the tournament.
He said: “Malawi National Council of Sports provided training, food and lodging allowances for the entire team in full. We also provided equality [participation] fees which totals to about K70 million.
, unfortunate that somebody decided to take pictures for the team when the players were actually relaxing, claiming that they were not funded.”
Mereka said Sports Council has requested NAM to investigate the matter as a similar issue happened at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England in July.
Lawyer and netball analyst Wesley Namasala asked people to concentrate on serious issues to develop netball in the country.
“I have seen the issue on social media. The matter is petty and sensationalised. It is a storm in a cup of tea. Perhaps it is advisable to focus on real issues that are affecting our game,” he said.