Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has stuck to its guns to hold playoffs to identify the 16th team to join the domestic top flight league despite Dedza Young Soccer’s protest against the move.
Dedza, who were relegated alongside Airborne Rangers and Wizards, have written Sulom protesting the decision, arguing that having finished on position 13 in the 2015 season, they should automatically be the 16th team.
Dedza Young Soccer general secretary Harold M’mola on Wednesday said they have a strong case.
“We expect justice to prevail. Sulom must do the needful by letting us be the 16th team and not holding playoffs,” said M’mola.
However, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said the playoffs would go on as planned regardless of Dedza Young Soccer’s protest.
Banda said: “We are guided by rules and regulations. Three teams were relegated as of 2015 season. Relegation is relegation, it does not matter whether you are on position 13, 14 or 15.
“Right now we have 15 teams in the Super League who are our affiliates. We need one more team to join the league and the executive committee decided that the three relegated teams must be involved in playoffs to identify one team to rejoin the league.”
He said they would not back down to Dedza who lost their status as Sulom affiliates.
“In case Dedza insists, then we have no choice but to have the two teams remaining [Airborne and Wizards] to compete in the playoffs and the winner will rejoin the Super League,” said Banda yesterday.
Dedza’s protest comes after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) also said it would not be possible to add a 16th team because it will miss the club licensing process.
As Dedza Young Soccer is trying to avoid the playoffs, Wizards and Airborne are busy preparing for the games.
“We were only waiting for the Sulom executive committee to approve playoffs,” said Airborne team manager Gift Kadammanja.
Wizards owner Peter Mponda said they were recalling the players that were on trials at other clubs to join the playoffs preparations.
They will, however, be without five who have already signed contracts with Silver (Mark Fodya, Levison Maganizo, Brighton Munthali) and Be Forward Wanderers (Ernest Tambe, Rafik Namwera).
The decision to have 16 teams was reached at Sulom general assembly held in November last year and Sulom executive committee only approved it last week. n