Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has dangled an irresistible carrot to lawyers, offering them exemption from April 3’s Players Agents regulations examinations if they apply to become licensed agents.
There is a correlation between a country’s number of agents to football exports and also sanity in players’ transfers.
Local transfers are in a mess with FAM transfer matching system (TMS) manager Casper Jangale attributing it to lack of agents.
“They [lawyers] do not need to sit for the examinations as they already studied contract law which is critical in players’ contracts. We even need agents to broker local transfers and give guidance to players,” said Jangale.
“Most players are ignorant about contractual issues. They sign contracts without a full understanding. Lawyers can help regulate the market and bring sanity as they operate within a guideline and failure to do so leads to revocation of the licence.”
The rest of the applicants will sit for the test at Chiwembe Technical Centre, FAM has announced.
But the lawyers, like the rest of successful applicants, would still be required to acquire professional liability insurance cover worth 100 000 Swiss franc (K49 million). Agents get a cut for every transfer of a player they sign.
Fifa will send 15 questions that relate to the international regulations accessible on www.fifa.com and FAM will provide five questions about local football.
Fifa stopped the licensing of agents in 2001, entrusting that task in national associations.
“If the applicant passes the written examinations, the association shall request him or her to conclude professional liability insurance with a reputable insurance company, preferably in one’s country,” reads Article 9 of the agents’ regulations.
Felix Sapao, Tendai Kanjoma, Owen Malijani and Kondie Msungama passed the examinations, but, save for Sapao, the rest are yet to acquire the licences due to their inability to acquire the insurance cover.
Ben Chiwaya has been in the players’ business since the early 1980s, but as a mere talent scout.
In separate interviews yesterday, Sapao said there was no much business on the local market due to lack of talent caused by the dysfunctional youth football and non-participation in international competitions.
“Agents do not want to be associated with failure. If we had quality players even agents from outside would have been coming. Our youth football development is at a standstill. Clubs look for young players who have gone through youth structures such as academies,” Sapao noted yesterday.
Most local players are not conversant with contractual rights and responsibilities that they train with other teams and cross the floor even when bound by contracts at their clubs. Others just sneak out of the country to join teams, sometimes using fake names and at times without clearance.
Local clubs are also losing out on revenue from transfer fees as they do no sign players on contracts. Players such as Chiukepo Msowoya, Joseph Kamwendo and Chimango Kaira relocated to Mozambique, and Alfred Manyozo Junior to Botswana, as free agents.