Fans dangle carrots to Flames players ahead of Uganda clash

Flames of Malawi

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers between Malawi and Uganda on Monday next week is expected to be a cracker. It not only offers the Flames a chance to progress to the next stage of the competition, but there is also the monetary value attached.

Remember, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) increased the players’ game allowance including a win in big competition like AFCON to K500,000.

As it stands, after beating South Sudan 1-0 on Wednesday this week, the players should have tasted their first K500,000 since the new allowances were announced.

Now on top of the Monday game, which may give them another K500,000 each, some football fans have put on the table some cash to be given to the team as a way of encouraging them.

Kelvin Sulugwe announced on his Facebook page that together with some fans like Maya Nkoloma, Mike Msungama, Limbani Nyirongo and another anonymous person, they will top up cash for each goal scorer and the goalkeeper if he keeps clean sheet.

The response has been good, but fans expressed worry that the arrangement may discourage other players whose positions have minimal chances of scoring, like defenders.

Sulugwe then changed the whole format without announcing the amount put on the table and said: “Following your concerns and comments, we have decided to simply award the whole team if they win. We have also written FAM on the same. I hope most of you will now join.”

Flames lost to Uganda 2-0 in the first leg match away.

Gerald Phiri junior scored the lone goal in Sudan that saw the Flames reduce the gap to two points from Group B leaders, Burkina Faso.

Uganda shared spoils with Burkina Faso on Wednesday thereby boosting the chances of Flames qualifying, since the two sides are only separated by a point.