Malawi is capable of rolling out club licensing by 2016 despite several hiccups that plague the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and its teams.
Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) chief operations officer Sue Destombes said Malawi had done much of the ground work for the implementation of the Fifa initiative.
She said this during the opening of a two-day club licensing seminar at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre on Tuesday.
“Malawi is one of the countries that are ready to roll out club licensing. The FA has done most of the bits and pieces that are required to be ready to start club licensing,” Destombes said.
“The FA has included in its statutes club licensing articles which are in line with those of Fifa and CAF statutes. What is remaining is for the FA to start the process by 2016 so that Malawi clubs are accepted to participate in CAF and Fifa tournaments.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive committee member James Mwenda, who is also head of competitions’ sub-committee, said the seminar would help the clubs build their capacity in implementation of club licensing.
“This gathering is very important in the sense that we cannot talk of football development without talking about professionalising our clubs.
“We cannot talk about professionalising our clubs without club licensing. This gathering is very crucial because it will shape the future of Malawi football,” Mwenda said.
He, however, said there was need for political will for club licensing to be successful.
“In 2009, we had a similar conference which was later dubbed ‘Lilongwe Declaration’. Most of the things that were resolved that time would have moved our football forward. But one of the reasons why we failed was because we were politicking a lot.
“You will agree with me that for a long time Sulom and FAM were fighting instead of developing the game. I am particularly happy that now even in the statutes Sulom has been given a place that it deserves.
“The first step was by making Sulom president automatic FAM executive committee member which means he is involved in decision-making at board level,” said Mwenda.
Club licensing will see clubs getting a licence starting from 2016 season after fulfilling minimum requirements like having a constitution, permanent secretariat, a reserve side and audited accounts.
Apart from Destombes, Dennis Mumble from South Africa and Mas-ud Didi Dramani from Ghana are the other facilitators from Fifa. n