Football Players Association of Malawi (FPA) says Super League clubs owe players over K10 million in outstanding dues from the just-concluded football season.
The development has prompted FPA to ask the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) not to issue the clubs in question participation licences for next season.
FPA general secretary Ernest Mangani yesterday said the move is in line with FAM’s declaration that only clubs with clean financial slates with players, other clubs and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) will be eligible for licencing for the 2022 TNM Super League season
He warned that they will take to the streets in protest if the local football governing body allows any of the affected 16 clubs to acquire a license for the 2022 season.
“Players are owed over K10 million in outstanding dues for last season and we would like to see the clubs sorting out the dues before the new season,” said Mangani.
He said: “We are keenly following the developments ahead of the new season to ensure that every word that FAM said regarding the players’ welfare is matched with action.
“As a players’ body, we will protest if we notice that clubs that owe players outstanding dues are allowed to take part next season. There have been several unfulfilled promises before and we do not want that to continue.”
Meanwhile, Mangani said the players’ body, which is the sole representative of professional footballers in Malawi with over 400 registered members, has so far helped Karonga United Nigerian player Adeleke Kolawole get K750 000 of his K1million outstanding dues from the club.
However, he said it is becoming difficult to do the same with other clubs.
Karonga United general secretary Ramzey Simwaka yesterday said they struggle a lot to keep the club financially afloat, but they try their best to prioritise the welfare of players.
“It is good to prolioritise the welfare of our players, but sometimes it has to be understood that things do not work out to expectation,” he said.
On his part, Mighty Tigers general secretary Akuzike Kafwamba said it is not on for the FPA to come up with a demand for clubs to clear the players’ outstanding dues under the current economic struggles due to Covid-19, especially considering that most Super League clubs are self-sponsored.
“Such a demand suits well institutional clubs or those that are well sponsored. As Tigers, we rely on contributions from well-wishers to run our operations. Besides, everybody knows the negative effects of Covid-19 and you cannot expect everything to be in order,” he said.
FAM club licencing and compliance manager Casper Jangale said they will stick to their promise, which will ensure that clubs start the season with a clean sheet financially.
“We already communicated this to clubs and it is part of club licensing requirement. Under financial criiteria, clubs are supposed to have no overdue payables towards players , clubs, FAM, Sulom etc,” he said.