Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said unlike last season, it will show no mercy to clubs that will fail to meet club licensing system (CLS) requirements ahead of the new season.
FAM CLS manager Casper Jangale said being the inaugural season, FAM exercised some leniency to teams last year, but the honeymoon is now over.
“All the licences for last season expired on December 31. The CLS for 2017 was launched on January 1 and will run up to Match 1 2017.
“Any club that fails to meet any of the requirements will not be issued with a license,” said Jangale, adding that the cutoff point includes newly-promoted teams from the regional leagues.
He also said a reminder was sent to all the teams on February 15.
He said First Instance Body (FIB), the body entrusted to issue or reject licences will meet on March 11 to make a determination.
The CLS criteria involves five criteria which are sporting which involves having a youth team and a clear developmental programme; infrastructure which requires that a club should have a training base and match venue; administrative and personnel which incorporates player contracts, and technical staff qualification requirements.
“This forms the bedrock because it also includes having a secretariat with at least one full-time administrator.
“Player contracts are mandatory and this year we have set a CAF A minimum requirement for a technical director on top of CAF B licence for the coach and CAF C licence for an assistant coach,” he said.
The fourth criteria is financial and aims at promoting financial transparency, prudence and accountability.
“Clubs need to produce audited financial accounts and transact via banks.”
The fifth is legal which involves ownership and control.
The FAM CLS manager said last season, Be Forward Wanderers was the outstanding team in meeting the club licensing system requirements.
“Blue Eagles and Nzuzu University (Mzuni) FC also performed above the rest. Looking at where we are coming from, we expect the clubs to do even better in the coming season,” he said.
Nyasa Big Bullets chairperson Noel Lipipa said they expect to meet all the requirements by the time the season kicks off.
“We still have to sort out the issue of ownership as the supporters need to be enlightened more on the concept and its importance, but overall we have done quite well in other areas.
“We not have a secretariat in place where we have employed an administrator. So, it is system which in the long run will benefit the clubs,” he said.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said FAM needs to take a tough stand on club licensing if they are to be run like a professional entity.
“It is time clubs are run like a business with a complete professional set-up so as to attract potential investors. That is the way to go,” he said. n