The TNM Super League enters week 12 this weekend but Super League of Malawi (Sulom) is yet to release a full fixture.
With almost a month to wrap up the first round, fixtures are released on weekly basis, a development that has irked some clubs who claim it is making planning difficult.
Be Forward Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao observed that operating without a full fixture was having a negative impact on his team.
“Everywhere else you have fixtures for the whole season. Where there are interruptions, you only reschedule the interrupted games. The rest of the games are played as scheduled. One wonders why we received the football calendar at the beginning of the year when this cannot be followed by the season’s fixtures. What was the point?”
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda acknowledged the disadvantages of releasing piecemeal fixtures.
He blamed the situation on failure to synchronise the fixtures within the FAM calendar.
Banda said: “The problem is not calendar but ourselves. The fixture is available, but planning is a challenge coupled with strategies in place. You should know the reason fixtures were not being released, it is important history wise. We want to institutionalise the relationship with FAM lest we forget 2008 incident.”
The GS was referring to an incident in 2008 when Be Forward Wanderers and Escom United forfeited points after taking orders from FAM not to play their fixture against Silver Strikers which Sulom had released.
But FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka argued that the calendar that FAM released is followed except for Cecafa Cup which does not appear on the programme.
He said: “I think in most cases in recent years it has been the Cecafa Cup participation which is not planned from on set and it disturbs the calendar. We need to do better on planning for Cecafa Cup participation. Otherwise, since we started having a planned calendar in 2014, all other dates for events like national team and cup games are clearly indicated and followed.”
But club licensing manager Casper Jangale observed that once the league is professionalised, the issue of erratic fixture would be a thing of the past.
“For sure we really need to elevate Super League to elite status it deserves. In that way, Sulom can ably release fixtures even six months in advance,” he said. n