Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has given clubs two weeks to register their players online or risk being barred from playing TNM Super League or cup games.
According to data sourced from Mpira Connect, an online platform where clubs tabulate their players and officials, Civil Sporting Club, Blue Eagles, Dwangwa United, Karonga United, TN Stars, Chitipa United and Mlatho Mponela have not registered a single player.
Updated last week, the statistics show that Ntopwa have registered one player and two officials while Moyale Barracks have only registered nine players, nine short of 18 feature on match day.
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka, who is a Fifa Connect instructor, said they are not bothered with some clubs’ delay to implement the registration.
“The general concern is that it is a tough task for the club to scan the contracts and medical documents and upload them in the system. So the delay is understandable,” he said.
Zakazaka, meanwhile, has revealed that FAM has decided to give the clubs a two-week grace period to finalise the process.
“If by then they have not finalised the registration, their players will be ineligible to play any match,” he said.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Tiya Somba Banda said they have put interventions to ensure that teams comply.
“This is the first year for this online process and the teething problems were expected. It is good that some teams have managed to register despite the various challenges they face, including lack of equipment and even internet connectivity itself.
“There are a number of interventions that we have put in place to ensure compliance going forward and by second round we should have every team online,” he said.
The online platform, a brainchild of Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa), is aimed at promoting accountability and transparency in the player transfers.
FAM ordered the clubs to finalise the registration before the current season kicked off on April 13, but two weeks down the line, some clubs have not done much to abide by the order.
Civil general secretary Ronald Chiwaula expressed surprise that his team has not registered any player.
“I am not sure why it is showing blank. Otherwise, we did what we were required,” he said.
TN Stars director Wisdom Chimgwede cited undisclosed “internal hitches” and “internet challenges.”
“The issues have since been ironed out. We should be done by this week,” he said.
Teams that have so far done well are Mzuni, Kamuzu Barracks, Be Forward Wanderers, Nyasa Big Bullets, Mighty Tigers, Masters Security and Silver Strikers.
In the meantime, Silver Strikers general secretary Lawrence Yobe welcomed the initiative, but he highlighted some key challenges facing it.
“The system needs reliable internet connectivity which most clubs do not have. Some players, whose contracts expired, are still registered with their clubs yet they are free agents and signed contracts with other teams,” he said.
Yobe cited their newly recruited goalkeeper Charles Thom, who the system shows was already registered by another club.