Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has justified Nyasa Big Bullets and Kamuzu Barracks’ participation in Wafawafa Bonanza this weekend despite the sides failing to obtain licences.
After First Instance Body (FIB) scrutinised submissions of 16 Super League clubs, it issued full licences to four clubs—Be Forward Wanderers, Blue Eagles, Dwangwa United and Moyale Barracks while Red Lions, Silver Strikers and Mafco were granted provisional ones.
Super League champions KB, Bullets, Mzuzu University (Mzuni) FC, Epac FC, Masters Security, Chitipa FC, Blantyre United, Azam Tigers and PremierBeit Wizards failed to make the grade.
The teams have until close of business today to resubmit the requirements to be considered for the licences.
However, FAM has allowed KB and Bullets to play the bonanza alongside Silver Strikers and Wanderers despite the licences being a prerequisite for a team to participate in any football activity.
Both club licensing system manager Casper Jangale and competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka said the teams were free to participate in any football event despite having no licences.
Zakazaka said: “Licences are for official matches while bonanzas are just off season upgraded friendlies. Matches not organised by FAM, or its affiliate, but rather involving association football teams.”
But last year FAM suspended 12 teams from any football activity after they failed to submit documents during the licensing process.
They were only allowed after fulfilling the requirements and being granted full or provisional licences.
Earlier Jangale warned that the association would this year be strict on club licensing requirements.
When asked if allowing unlicensed teams to play was not defeating the purpose of the exercise, Jangale insisted that they were on the right track.
“We are sending the right message. There are reasons for every situation apart from the regulations. Last year, teams were suspended for not complying at all. This year, they have complied by submitting documents and failed. We have asked them to re-submit missing documents for review on Saturday. After that, if they fail, we go to the next step.”
But former FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda, who is now Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) deputy chief executive officer and a member of Confederation of African Football (CAF) Club Licensing Committee, questioned Super League clubs’ readiness to embrace club licensing.
“Let’s face the facts; Malawi clubs are not ready for club licensing. If we are to be strict, none of the teams will comply,” he said. “Even those teams that have been granted licences; are you sure they have fulfilled the requirements?” n