Some clubs have differed on the kick-off date set by Super League of Malawi (Sulom) for the 2022 TNM Super League season.
The top-flight league runners yesterday announced that next season will kick off on February 26.
Transfer window opened on January 1 and Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said transfers will follow the league’s rules and regulations as well as club licensing regulations.
Champions Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers have reservations on the league kicking off next month, saying there are a number of issues that need to be looked into.
The People’s Team chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said this would not be the right time to kick off.
He said: “To begin with, the set date is an unusual time to start the league.
“No ample time for some teams that were still playing football until mid-December to get fully set for the new season.
“Additionally, some players are with the national team for the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] and will probably join their teams end of this month. When will they rest?
“Having said that, it is really tough for the players and the coaches.”
On his part, Wanderers board secretary Humphrey Mvula said Sulom should have first called for a review meeting.
He said: “Are we going into another Covid-19 season without proper conversation? Sulom as an organisation, an administrative machinery should have been polite enough to sit down with teams to agree on how we are going to move forward.
“There are some players who are with the national team, surely they need to be accorded time to rest. Is Sulom going to penalise teams for providing players to the national team? How will they recover?
“The timing is wrong. Clubs do not have adequate time to prepare. For teams that operate on taxpayers money, all could be rosy, but certainly not the other teams.”
Mvula said there is need for a post-mortem to review how the league was run last season and get input from the clubs.
“Look, this is not a social league. Sulom should be prepared to listen to owners or those that run the teams. If we are talking about commercialisation, then we can do better than this,” he said.
However, Civil Service United general secretary Ronald Chiwaula and Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thoko Chimbali said they are good to go.
Said Chiwaula: “Looking at the period spent as off season, we find the kick off timing to be ideal and proper..
“The only challenge we anticipate is the weather because it’s still going to be rainy season and this could lead to postponement of matches due to unfavourable playing conditions.”
On his part, Chimbali said: “We are ready for the league. Our target is to win all the cups on offer. Last season, we targeted to win all the accolades, but we only managed one [FDH Bank Cup].”
Reacting to the concerns raised by some teams, Banda said they will wait for official communication.
He also said clubs will only be registered upon paying affiliation fees.
Said Banda: “Clubs get affiliated upon payment of requisite affiliation fees and by virtue of emerging regional champions duly aunthenticated in writing by their regional league administrators.”
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi licensing and compliance manager Casper Jngale said the club licensing process started yesterday with an invitation to the clubs to apply.