Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Sulom have instructed all Super League clubs to have contracts with their respective players to avoid confusion in player ownership and registration ahead of the Presidential Cup which starts in two weeksâ€™ time.
FAM commercial and media manager Casper Jangale and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda on Tuesday said unlike last year, teams will not be allowed to feature players in the Presidential Cup that are not registered with them.
Clubs have since welcomed the development, saying the use of players that were not cleared by their initial clubs caused a lot of confusion last year.
Said Jangale: â€œWe have agreed with Sulom that a player who belongs to another team should not be allowed to feature for a prospective new team in the Presidential Cup as was the case last year to ensure order and professionalism. This will also apply to any other tournament.
â€œHowever, teams are encouraged to have contracts with their players because in absence of that [contracts], then they may have no basis to restrict a player from joining another team. The documents that players sign and are sent to Sulom are just registration forms and not contracts.â€
Jangale said Super League teams that do not have contracts with their players have two weeks to do that.
Banda also said Sulom has agreed with FAM and the organising committee of the Presidential Cup that unless players are cleared, they will not be allowed to feature for their prospective teams.
Escom United chairperson Fanuel Nkhono and Big Bullets vice-general secretary Higger Mkandawire have hailed both FAM and Sulom for taking a tough stance in the registration of players for the Presidential Cup.
Said Nkhono: â€œI would go by that order because some teams would feature players that did not belong to them in last yearâ€™s edition of the Presidential Cup since the rules on registration were relaxed.
â€œBut as FAM and Sulom clearly put it, the challenge will now be up to the clubs to have contracts with their players to prove ownership,â€ he added.
On his part, Mkandawire said: â€œWe should be professional in the way we conduct our business.â€
Last year, teams such as Mighty Wanderers and Bullets used players in the Presidential Cup that had not been cleared by their former teams.
The Nomads, who went on to win the tournament, featured former Zomba Unitedâ€™s duo Richard Chipuwa and Robert Chigundo whereas Bullets used Talamu Chinyama who then belonged to Azam Tigers.
Chipuwa was cleared after the tournament to join the Nomads.