Malawi captain Joseph Kamwendo has hit out at a US$10,000 win bonus being offered to new coach Tom Saintfiet.
The Belgian coach is not being paid a salary and will only get the bonus if the Flames beat Nigeria in September’s winner-takes all World Cup qualifier.
With Malawi players getting just US$85 for a win Kamwendo described Saintfiet’s proposed bonus of US$10,000 as an insult.
“Why don’t they (Malawi FA) make such offers to players?” Kamwendo demanded.
“Why should we continue to have our services not appreciated yet they are ready to splash out huge sums of money to one person?
“We’ve been fighting for an increase in game bonuses and allowances for a long time but the Fam have ignored us,” he said.
Saintfiet, who has only initially agreed to coach the Flames for two months, defended his position as he held his first press conference as coach on Tuesday.
e insists he only accepted the Flames coaching job because he believes he can help Malawi qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
“In the last weeks I got offers from clubs in South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia and Lebanon,” he said.
“If I had decided last week to go to Lebanon I would have earned four-times that amount in the next two months whether I had won or lost that was secured money.
“So if I’d come to Malawi just for the bonus I’d be very stupid, I’d have signed somewhere else if money was important to me.
“I’m not here for money and that is the reason why I volunteered – I’m here because I have a dream that Malawi is a country that can go to the World Cup.”
Saintfiet’s arrival even lead to one concerned citizen filing a court injunction to stop the football association from hiring Saintfiet, but his case was rejected.
The coach has been backed by FA president Walter Nyamilandu.
“We’ve never qualified for the World Cup and Saintfiet is a coach with vast experience who can help us realise our dream,” he said.
“We should appreciate that he is not demanding much.”
Malawi are second in Group F of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, two points behind leaders Nigeria.
The Flames must win the game in Abuja to reach the final round of play-offs, while a draw will be enough for the Super Eagles.
Saintfiet’s first game in charge is against Zimbabwe on Saturday in the quarter-finals of the southern African regional tournament, the Cosafa Cup.