About 40 teams in the second-tier Southern Region Football League (SRFL) risk forfeiting points if they fail to meet a deadline set by the regional association to pay outstanding registration fee balances amounting to K2.8 million.
The resolution was made on Sunday at BAT Ground in Blantyre during a meeting involving the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) and the clubs.
“We sought the clubs’ views on the matter and it was unanimously agreed that teams which fail to honour payment within the next two weeks, will forfeit points.
“We have 44 teams in both Premier Division and Division One, but out of these, only four or five have paid the fees in full. This is not good for a league that has no sponsor,” said SRFA chairperson Raphael Humba.
The meeting also resolved that University of Malawi (Unima) teams, Poly and Chanco, should not be exempted from games as it were last season.
“Poly were represented at the meeting and they made a commitment to start fulfilling the games although they are on holiday, but they asked for a delegation to be sent to their principal to plead if they could be allowed to camp at the campus, which we will do,” he said.
Humba also said it was resolved that before the start of next season authorities of the two institutions should make a commitment that the two teams will fulfil fixtures even in times of holidays.
Director of Max Bullets, Max Kapanda, described the meeting as fruitful.
“All those issues were indeed discussed and if all the issues that were agreed are implemented, in particular sponsorship and payment of registration fees, then the future looks bright,” said Kapanda.
At the end of the meeting, the teams appointed a committee to be headed by Alinafe Gobede, to handle clubs’ concerns with the association.
In a related development, there could be a silver lining lacing the horizon for the second-tier league as SRFA claims to have secured K6 million prize money for teams that will emerge top four.
Humba said they had fruitful discussions with the sponsor who has only committed to provide money for prizes.
“For the time being, we will keep the prospective sponsor’s name under wraps until the deal is sealed. But it comes as a relief since we were not sure as to whether deserving teams would get something at the end of the season,” said Humba.
“We have been asked to submit a budget, which we are finalising. We want the team that will emerge champions of the Premier Division to have a starter-pack for the Super League,” he said.
Humba also disclosed that negotiations with a potential sponsor for the league are at an advanced stage and they are optimistic that by the time the season kicks-off in next April, a sponsor will be in place.
He also said as part of a fund-raising drive, the association plans to organise a bonanza involving three teams each from the Premier League and the Super League early next year.