Most Super League coaches are ignorant of the 17 laws of the game, especially the annually amended rules, Nation Online understands.
The coaches usually learn the rules during coaching courses, but such courses rarely take place in Malawi, which makes it difficult for the trainers to appreciate refereesâ€™ application of the laws.
On average, two teams complain every week to the Super League of Malawi over officiation.
Civo United veteran coach Alex Masanjala told Nation Online this week that while he familiarises with the amended rules, most of his counterparts are ignorant of the revisions.
“Judging from some of the coachesâ€™ comments, you get the impression that they are made more out of anger than knowledge of the laws of the game. The onus is on the coaches to get updates,” said Masanjala.
Blantyre United coach Eliah Kananji said he acquaints himself with the rules through interaction with referees during training.
“Once in a while, I ask some of them if they can help by interpreting the revised rules. There are times we disagree with the refereeâ€™s decisions, especially when the rules have been revised and we are not aware,” said Kananji.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) sub-committee for referees has since stepped in to oversee the allocation of referees for matches following complaints over a perceived tendency to favour teams from their respective regions. The allocations of referees was usually done by regional committees.
Southern Region Referees Committee general secretary Francisco Scova revealed that he was approached by a Super League coach seeking help on the interpretation of the laws.
“But I was unable to join them in training. I had reservations since I am an active referee. In other countries, clubs have what are called club referees. These are retired referees engaged by teams during training to ensure that players are on the same page with the rules,” said Scova.
But Masanjala did not spare the referees. He faulted them for having a perception that they are the only ones conversant with the laws of the games “forgetting that it is impossible for a coach to get a licence without passing a subject on the laws.”
In an interview during the week, Moyale Barracks coach Nicholas Mhango agreed with Masanjala that laws of the game are taught during coaching course. He said he learnt them during a course in England and that he follows updates through websites.
On Tuesday, Big Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire lodged a complaint to Sulom over officiation of their game against Epac FC in Lilongwe on Sunday.
Newly elected National Coaches Committee general secretary Charles Manda said coaches receive booklets on laws of the game after courses, but admitted that this is not enough as football rules are dynamic.
“We have to adapt to the changing rules as sometimes some coaches argue with referees based on past rules. I have in the past sought the help of veteran referees such as Mr [Charles] Kafatiya to drill our players. As an association, it is high time we sensitised the coaches to the laws,” said Manda.