Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) says goalkeeper Towera ‘Tobby’ Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda cannot be registered to play for any local team until the association gets her international transfer from Netball England.
That is not all. NAM has said the Malawi Queens star will also have to wait for the domestic netball transfer window to open on August 15.
This comes after the Rainbow Paints League refused Kukoma Diamonds from registering the player on the basis that she was a free agent following the expiry of her contract with United Kingdom Vitality Superleague club Strathclyde Sirens.
Diamonds were desperate to feature Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda in Saturday’s Rainbow Paints League match against rivals First Choice Tigresses which the latter won 48-41.
NAM general secretary (GS) Carol Bapu said: “Her [Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda] contract might indeed have expired, but we need to get an international clearance from our counterparts. That is how it works and there are no short-cuts.
“But even if the clearance is sent, she will not be eligible to play until August 15 when the local transfer window will be opened.”
The NAM GS also said there is need to review the international transfer deals whereby a player is able to feature for two clubs within a year.
“We have players who sign six-months deals with UK teams and when they return, they want to play in the local league before signing another contract in the UK towards the end of the year.
“It is somehow ridiculous and we need to find a way on how we can deal with such situations,” said Bapu.
In an interview yesterday, Blantyre and Districts Netball League chairperson Junier Kazembe confirmed that the league could not register the player for a similar reason.
She said: “We have no reason to deny any club registration of a player. In fact, we would be proud to have a player of Towera’s calibre playing in our league.
“But then, procedures need to be followed. We only register a player who was playing abroad upon getting a go ahead from NAM and we are yet get such communication.”
In an interview on Sunday, Diamonds chairperson Lumbani Mtonyo said she could not understand why Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda was not being registered.
She said: “We were told that she can’t play although her contract with the UK club expired.
“It was just back and forth, left and right. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with any of the reasons they gave.”