The confusion that has arisen between Sulom and American sports merchandise company Nsejjere Sports and Casual Wear over which uniforms are supposed to be used by some Super League clubs has worsened with the latter threatening to institute legal proceedings against the flagship league governing body as well as league sponsors TNM over the issue.
Nsejjere, through their local agents have written to TNM and Sulom expressing their concern over their move to supply Puma kits to four teams that have contracts with them [Nsejjere].
Nsejjere have also threatened to sue Puma and the clubs.
Nsejjere claims as per contracts they signed with Silver Strikers, Mighty Wanderers, Escom United and Big Bullets, the four teams are only supposed to wear Nsejjere kit and not any other brand.
However, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda played down the threat arguing that Nsejjere never approached them or TNM before they signed contracts with the clubs; therefore, the clubs are free to wear the Puma kit supplied by TNM.
Said Banda: “Nsejjere needs to go back to the drawing board because Sulom is affiliated to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and has the mandate to run the national league. In view of this, Nsejjere were, therefore, supposed to approach both the league and TNM to agree on the modalities before signing agreements with the clubs.”
“We, therefore, find Nsejjereâ€™s move [to seek legal action] to be unfortunate. We even wonder if their [Nsejjere] brand is approved by Fifa.”
Mighty Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda said as a club, they are not under obligation to abide by the contract they signed with Nsejjere because the sportswear firm was the first to breach the contract they signed.
“At law, we are entitled to repudiate the contract if Nsejjere is in breach and to the best of my knowledge, they are in breach because they are yet to give us our cut,” said Kanyenda.
He added that in view of the development, the Nomads will not wear Nsejjere kit this season.
On the other hand, Big Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire said his team is at liberty to wear either Nsejjere or Puma kit.
Mkandawire also faulted Nsejjere for not approaching Sulom prior to the deals.
“The other thing is that Nsejjere cannot restrict us to wearing their kit because they are yet to supply us with uniforms for this season.
“So, our position as a club is that we will continue to use both brands until such a time that the league and Nsejjere agree on the way forward because there is a gap. We have made that clear to Nsejjereâ€™s [local] agent Jacob Chikoya,” said Mkandawire.
He also said BB want to have a meeting with Nsejjere management other than deal with their agent.
Super League reigning champions Silver Strikers, who wore Nsejjere kit in their first two matches, last week wore the Puma kit when they faced Mighty Wanderers.
Silverâ€™s chairperson Dr McDonald Mafuta-Mwale said his team would continue to use both brands until the issue is sorted out.
Mafuta-Mwale suggested that the best thing would be for all the concerned parties to meet and map the way forward.
Chikoya could not be reached for his comment.