aSome Super League clubs are violating Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) player transfer rules by signing players from lower leagues without paying compensation fees to parent clubs, the Weekend Nation has learnt.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has confirmed that it is investigating a number of compensation non-payments cases. Among them, Zomba United is demanding fees from Be Forward Wanderers for goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa while Blantyre-based outfit Bushbucks wants compensation from Premier Bet Wizards for sensational midfielder Thuso Paipi.
Other clubs that have allegedly been breaching the rules are Azam Tigers, Civo United, Dwangwa United and Moyale Barracks, according to regional football associations.
The conduct has since been described as a major setback in efforts to improve grassroots football which FAM and government are promoting to nurture future players for the misfiring Malawi national team.
Part of article 20 of the Fifa regulation on the status and transfer of players stipulates that “training compensation shall be paid to a player’s training club when a player signs his first professional contract.”
The rules further read: “The club with which the player is registered is responsible for paying training compensation within 30 days of [the player’s] registration.”
One of the cases in the Central Region is that Airborne Rangers has reported Dwangwa United and Civo United to FAM over unpaid training fees for their four players.
Dwangwa signed Josiah Duwa, Gilbert Nkhokwe and Dennis Katchire from Rangers for undisclosed development fees while Civo signed Mathews Kaulombo for K300 000 development fee.
But Dwangwa general secretary Samson Zimba refused to comment on the matter, saying Super League of Malawi (Sulom) is better placed because it has all the documentation.
On his part, Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) chairperson Lameck Zetu Khonje named Moyale Barracks as one of the teams that have been signing players from their league without paying training fees.
He said recently Ekwendeni Hammers lodged a complaint to his association that Moyale were not paying the development fees for Christopher Zgambo and Zondiwe Munthali who were signed early this year.
“We have had several complaints over such transfer deals. The training fees is meant to improve small teams, but if big clubs continue to dupe lower league teams, it is very difficult for grassroots football to improve,” he said.
Moyale coach Collins Nkuna, however, dismissed assertions that his club fails to pay development fees, saying: “In the case of the Ekwendeni Hammers, we paid K700 000 for the two players. I think that is enough to prove that we abide by transfer rules.”
In the meantime, Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) general secretary Kingsley Simbeye has said their teams have also fallen victim to the same conduct.
He disclosed that recently his association lodged a complaint to Sulom over Azam Tigers’ failure to pay K160 000 to Nyasa FC as training fee for defender Mark Chongwa.
“This is just one of the cases, but we have received several complaints from other teams that have been duped by Super League clubs,” Simbeye said.
Central Region Football Association (CRFA) general secretary Bernard Chiwiruwiru Harawa estimated 30 percent of the transfers involving players from their league and Super League end up with development fees not being paid.
He attributed the situation to clubs bypassing CRFA when processing transfer of their players.
“Most clubs choose to deal directly with the Super League clubs which promise to pay the fees at a later date. Once they have been tricked they fail to seek help from us because we do not have background and transfer documentation,” he said.
FAM transfer matching system (TMS) manager Casper Jangale said the nonpayment of the training fees is a result of manual registration of players.
“We have received a number of complaints from a host of lower league clubs. Some of them are about Paipi and Chipuwa. But what we have discovered is that most of the players in lower division are registered manually and it becomes complicated when the documents go missing,” he said.
Jangale said that they are currently planning to procure domestic transfer matching system (DTMS) which will ensure that local players are registered electronically.
“This will make us have all names of players and contracts at their clubs tabulated electronically. This will reduce the problems which are affecting development of grassroots football,” he said.
Jangale said the clubs that are not honouring development fee payments will be forced to do so.
“We have already written letters to some clubs asking them to pay the fees which range from K300 000 below depending on how long the players stayed at their particular youth clubs.” n