Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has suspended 11 Super League clubs, including 2015 TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets, from any football related activities for failing to submit relevant documents pertaining to club licensing system.
Apart from Red Lions, Silver Strikers, Dwangwa United and Be Forward Wanderers, the rest of the Super League clubs are behind schedule in phase two of the licensing system which fell between October 1 and January 31 timeline and involved submitting clubs’ youth development programme, financial statements, constitutions, players contracts and setting up permanent secretariat.
Club licensing manager Casper Jangale said FAM had no option but to mete out the punishment after twice warning the clubs on the consequences of their failure to follow the road map.
“If a newly promoted club like Dwangwa United can manage to fulfil some of the requirements, what more with an established club like Nyasa Big Bullets? It just shows that some of these clubs are not serious. Imagine, a club failing to even produce their bank account number?
“That is why we had to suspend them from any football activities until they submit the documents. After February 14th, we will not accept any documents from clubs and this will mean when the First Instance Body (FIB) meets to scrutinise which teams should be licensed, these teams will not have the relevant documents,” said Jangale.
During their 14-day suspension, the 11 teams are barred from any football business including signing players or playing friendly matches.
“We are monitoring the situation and if they breach the suspension conditions, they risk more punishment,” said Jangale.
The association’s last warning was on January 8 when FAM reminded them that they risk not playing in the Super League in 2016 if they fail to meet minimum requirements.
“It is very clear that all teams are well behind schedule in submitting documents. We urge you to contact the FAM club licensing manager Mr. Casper Jangale and make necessary arrangements to have your documents submitted by end January 2016 to be on track.
“Failure to submit the above stated documents as per deadlines set will lead to sanctions of which the most severe will be no participation in the 2016 football season,” the letter which was signed by FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda read in part.
Nyirenda, a member of Fifa Club Licensing committee, was recently in Botswana where he also had some clubs suspended for failing to adhere to the licensing regulations.
He has since warned that FAM would leave no stone unturned to make sure club licensing is also implemented back home.
“We don’t care if we will have fewer teams in 2016 season. What we want is our league to be professional,” Nyirenda said.
“Those that meet minimum requirements will be licensed; those that don’t will be barred from participating in any competition.”
Most of the clubs said they would utilise the 14-day window to submit the relevant documents.
“Sometimes you need to prioritise. We are coming from 11 years without sponsors and we thought we had to finalise the deal with Nyasa Manufacturing Company before turning to the club licensing issue,” Bullets chairperson Sam Chilunga said yesterday.
“We knew we would miss the deadline, but I can challenge you that we are the ones who are going to set the pace. We are going to go beyond club licensing. By Friday we will make our submissions.”
But Azam Tigers chairperson Sydney Chikoti questioned the rationale behind the suspension.
Chikoti said: “We know our obligation and we are going to fulfil it within the stipulated time, but why the suspension? It does not make sense. We are supposed to fulfil the requirements before February 14, yet we are stopped from doing anything to do with football! How can we prepare for the 2016 season if we don’t play friendly matches or if we are not involved in transfer of players?”