By Orchestra Kamanga
There are mixed views over the welfare of our football heroes especially those who have been retired from playing football within and outside the country.
Some quarters urged government to help players when they get in trouble in the retirement era either at club level or at international level while some sections says players should not rely on government interventions but their own particular game like football, netball or volley ball associations.
This comes barely after the death of renowned football giant Jack ‘African’ Chamangwana who died at Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital 3B ward.
Maxwell Mapemba, former vice Chairperson for Nomads quashed the suggestion that players should be relying or depend on government money but they should rely on their associations .These, he said should be formed by either football associations or players themselves.
“Each sporting discipline should have welfare association to the players so that when need comes to assist player who is destitute, the association can use their fund to look after them.
He suggested that each player should be contributing say a K1, 000 to the association every month so that this could then be used in assisting both former and current players as government is too burden with lots of problems with the country like supplying drugs to our local hospitals.
Surprisingly, on our research within the country, we heard that a Football Players Association already exist in the country and is apparently affiliated to our football leagues. But we wonder where they were when African Chamangwana was in die nee of their assistance.
Commenting on the same issue Comrade Dr Feston Kaphaya said it is important for government to help players because have contributed to sport development.
But Chilobwe based sport analysis Thom Jones, 25, Concurred with Mapemba saying it is wrong to push government to help the players because players get money from get collections.
“Players should plan before retirement. The same thing happened to Kenneth Kandulu of Wanderers Alick Lihuhu of ESCOM F.C also happened to Nigeria player Rashid Yekin who died in 1994 because they failed to plan for their life,” he said.
Ndirande based soccer lover Patrick Goweka, 28 said it is very important for government to help the players because they have helped much in developing sports in the country such players include Jack African’ Chamangwana, Yasin ‘Njinga’ Osman, Kinnah ‘electric’ Phiri, Young Chimodzi, Reuben Malola among others. These players are our heroes in football circles.
But one of the Executive Members of Football Players Association who opted not to be named said the association has no money to help the players because players contributing to the account and theref ore he urged companies to help the association. But this was quashed by one of the local company Managers who said the fund belongs to players and it is players who have a plan to look after their fallen heroes.