Malawi top-flight league clubs’ interest in 2018 Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions—Champions League and Confederations Cup—is waning, Nation on Sunday has learnt.
Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers recently declared their intention to contest in the events, but with the November 30 deadline for team registration fast-approaching, the two giants appear to have lost interest.
Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) spokesperson Mbane Ngwira, whose entity bankrolls Silver, said: “We are waiting for a recommendation from the club’s technical committee.
“We cannot impose a decision on them because, with the way our team is currently performing, we are not sure if we are ready enough to compete at continental level.”
On the other hand, Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao said they cannot make a commitment on CAF participation when the domestic league is still in progress.
“Let us win the league first,” he said.
This means for Nomads to make a commitment, they might wait for their last league fixture against Red Lions at Balaka Stadium on December 23, almost a month after registration of CAF competition has closed.
The clubs’ hesitation to confirm their involvement in CAF competitions comes after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) set K15 million surety for joining CAF competitions.
FAM acting competitions and media manager Casper Jangale, who is also club licensing manager, said they introduced the surety to avoid a repetition of 2014 when Nyasa Big Bullets left around $6 000 (over K4 million) debt with the continental football governing body.
“We learnt a lesson from Bullets’ participation. We had to pay the fines on their behalf and up to now Bullets have not yet finished repaying our money.
“That is why we decided that for a team to participate in CAF competitions, they have to deposit the surety of $20 000 [about K15 million],” he explained.
Both Silver and Wanderers described the introduction of the surety as restrictive and unfair.