In a dramatic twist to the player transfer controversy, Sulom has said three big-name players—Chimango Kayira, Pilirani Makupe and John Lanjesi—cannot be registered by their prospective clubs until the next transfer window reopens after the first round.
The transfer window closed at midnight on Friday and is set to reopen after the first round.
Big Bullets are on the verge of losing their midfield kingpin Kayira who reportedly tendered his resignation at the weekend and announced his intention to join reigning Super League champions Silver Strikers.
The Bankers are also interested to sign their capital city rivals Civo United key defender Lanjesi while another reliable defender for the Civil Servants Makupe wants to move to his former club Mighty Wanderers.
However, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda on Saturday said the three players cannot move at this point, having already been registered by the teams they were playing for at the start of the season.
“A player cannot be registered twice within a particular transfer window and in the case of Chimango, he was registered by Bullets and the same applies to Lanjesi and Makupe who were registered by Civo.
“In accordance with the rules governing the league and in respect of sporting integrity, they could not move during the transfer window that closed on Friday.
“The other thing is that players are supposed to serve notice for a period of 15 days and, in this case, these players flouted the transfer procedures and they risk being banned for a period of between four months and three years and this extends to international football as well,” warned Banda.
He further warned that the teams that they intend to join also risk a three-year ban in the event that it is established that they flouted the rules.
The Sulom GS, therefore, said if they so wish, the trio can return to their respective clubs for the time being until the next transfer window.
“But if they are not interested, then they can wait until the next transfer window opens provided they follow the procedures,” said Banda.
The three players could not be reached for their reaction to the latest development, but in an earlier interview, Kayira confirmed having tendered in his resignation to Bullets and his intention to join Silver.
“We haven’t agreed anything yet, but if they meet my conditions, then you will see me in sky blue and white colours not long from now,” said Kayira.
However, Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire spoke tough on Silver’s move and declared that they will not release the player.
“Silver are just wasting their time and government resources because we’ll not allow them to sign Chimango.
“They [Silver] have taken us for a ride for a long time. First, it was Meke Mwase, thereafter, it was Jelesi [Lufeyo], Panganeni Ndovi and Peter Pindani, now they want to snatch Chimango as if we were their breeding ground.
“But if they have government money to spend, then this time, it will not work and we’ll take them head on,” said Mkandawire.
Apparently, Escom United have threatened to bar Bullets from featuring Kayira over K3.5 million (about $8 750) unpaid transfer fee.
Escom’s chairperson Fanuel Nkhono said Kayira and two others—Heston Munthali and James Chilapondwa— were loaned to Bullets last season and the loan period has since expired.
However, both Silver’s general secretary Mike Tembo and David Kanyenda said they will contest Sulom’s decision.
“The same [Sulom] standard contract [for players] that they are referring to also has an exit provision which is clause V where it is stated that contracts can be changed upon agreement between the two involved clubs.
“So, our position is that we’ll contest the matter and seek guidelines as to which clauses they are referring to,” said Tembo.
He also said despite the transfer window closing, he is still optimistic about registering both Kayira and Lanjesi because they are pending issues.