No more business as usual. FAM will from the forthcoming season enforce online player registration and transfer in the TNM Super League following a Fifa directive.
This comes against the background that there was a 90 to 95 percent noncompliance by clubs to the domestic transfer matching system (DTMS) last season.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) compliance and licensing manager Casper Jangale yesterday said the process will gradually be extended to other leagues.
“As for the regional, youth and women’s leagues, the process will start gradually, but we expect to go full throttle from next season.
“And in terms of registration, it will also involve referees and coaches,” he said.
Jangale said while the DTMS was optional in the past two seasons, clubs will no longer have that luxury effective this coming season.
“The take off was good in the 2017 season because we had a 40 percent compliance rate, but it dropped significantly to between five and 10 percent last season.
“Now Fifa are saying from now on, it should be an integrated system. So, for those that will not embrace the process, they will be left behind and the consequences are that their players and coaches will not be registered as it will not reflect in the system,” he said.
On why there was noncompliance on the part of the clubs, Jangale attributed it to rigidity to change, lack of equipment and training mainly due to incompetency.
“Under the club licensing system requirements, clubs are supposed to have at least a computer for such purposes. They also need to embrace change.
“We have also intensified training for relevant officials in the Mpira Connect platform to improve the situation,” he said.
Jangale said the advantages of the system are that the process is faster, efficient, transparent and accountable.
“For instance through this system, you are able to know whether a player is contracted to a club or not. It also eliminates suspicions on player transfers.”
Be Forward Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire and his Karonga United counterpart Alufeyo Chipanga Banda said clubs were noncompliant because it takes time to understand the system.
Said Mkandawire: “It was a new initiative, so probably it could not have embraced overnight. But having said that, it is a good system and that is the direction we need to take to develop our game as it promotes transparency and accountability.
“Clubs were used to doing things behind the scenes and probably that is also one of the reasons they were reluctant to embrace the modern system.”
On his part, Chipanga Banda said: “I think to some extent, most of us clubs were still not conversant with the way the system works and being used to the manual paper transactions, we were resistant to change, but with the training that FAM is conducting, we should expect an improvement.”
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda said it is a project worth implementing.
“But it all depends on the capacity building that has been imparted to club officials and, more importantly, governance,” he said.
On Sunday FAM organised a day-long training on Mpira Connect platform for Northern Region committees and teams.
Last week, the association had a similar initiative for Super League clubs and will train Central and Southern region stakeholders from next week..
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka, who is a Fifa Connect instructor, is facilitating the training alongside Jangale.