Caught off guard. Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers on Thursday failed to beat the player-transfer deadline in their quest to sign new players ahead of the TNM Super League second round which rolls into life this afternoon.
The Central Bankers were targeting Mzuni FC striker Maxwell Gastin, Masters Security FC defender Eric Atsiga and Civil Sporting Club forward Raphael Phiri.
Coincidentally, the Nomads were also pushing for Atsiga’s registration and that of TN Stars forward China Chirwa.
While Silver claim to have agreed on transfer terms with Masters for Atsiga, the Ghanaian defender was unveiled by the Nomads on Thursday at their clubhouse in Blantyre.
However, Masters owner and chairperson Alfred Gangata said the player is going nowhere.
“Wanderers take us for fools….amayesa ndife mazoba. Our stand is that we agreed with Silver and if Wanderers want to sign Atsiga then they should refund the K4 million transfer fee we got from Silver. We do not care whether they already agreed personal terms with the player, the fact remains that he [Atsiga] is contracted to us,” he said.
However, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary (GS) Williams Banda yesterday said all these players are not among those that had been registered by the cutoff point on Thursday night.
“No, not at all,” was the Sulom’s GS’ quickfire response on whether the said players appear on the list.
Banda said the only pending transfers are those of Patrick Thupi, Enock Likoswe, Jaffalie Chande and Precious Msosa to rookies Mlatho Mponela.
Silver GS Lawrence Yobe yesterday confirmed having missed out on their targets, but blamed it on a “faulty” Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) transfer matching system (TMS).
“To begin with, we are disappointed and frustrated with FAM and Fifa. We have been let down by their [online] transfer process which is down… It is not working. Actually, we have been trying to log in with no success.
“Our feeling is that FAM rushed to introduce the system when they were not ready. They should have started with a pilot stage whereby both online and manual systems should have been working simultaneously until maybe next season,” he said.
Yobe said they have since requested FAM for a special waiver on the transfer window period.
Part of an e-mail addressed to the association’s licensing and compliance manager Casper Jangale, which Weekend Nation has seen, reads: “I wish to inform [you] that I haven’t received the invitation link to reset the password in Fifa TMS up to now.
“In this case, I request special waiver to register the players on transfer as we intend to beef up our squad either through the manual process or electronically when the link is provided outside the stipulated transfer period.”
However, Jangale yesterday said they were not to blame for the failed transactions.
“The problem is that they [Silver] were logging in to Mpira Connect instead of TMS,” he said.
Jangale could not comment on whether the Central Bankers’ request for a special waiver will be granted.
On his part, Nomads acting GS Chris Kananji yesterday expressed surprise at the development, saying: “Of course, I was away, but what I know is that we almost finalised the transfer process of both players.
“So, maybe talk to Mr. [Gift] Mkandawire, he should have concrete details,” he said.
However, Mkandawire was not available for comment.
Among the 17 players who appear on the list of those registered during the transfer window are Azizi Mwakifuna (from Karonga United to Nyasa Big Bullets), Joseph Kamwendo (free agent, Wanderers), Chikoti Chirwa (from red Lions to Kamuzu Barracks) Raqub Lulu Milanzi and a Zambian Sitali Nyambwe (free agents, Ntopwa FC).