Felix Ngamanya-Sapao is the country’s only certified intermediary in football players’ transfers after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) renewed his licence on Monday.
Previously, Malawi had four intermediaries, who acted as local players’ link to foreign professional clubs in negotiating deals, but the number is now down to one after the world football governing body Fifa changed the accreditation system.
In the past, individuals qualified as players’ agents only after passing written examinations regarding their trade and paying indemnity insurance.
Now, according to FAM transfer matching systems manager Casper Jangale, the new regulations seek transparency by demanding numerous checks such as the police scrutiny to ensure no criminal record.
“The intermediaries are also not allowed to be involved in football club or association administration and have to sign a code of conduct aside from renewing their licences annually at a fee of K200 000,” he said.
With Sapao as the only authorised intermediary in the country, Malawi footballers have limited chances to market themselves and negotiate foreign professional deals.
Recently, a number of professional deals for Malawian players such as Nyasa Big Bullets players Miracle Gabeya and Muhammad Sulumba fell through in South Africa due to, among other things, the absence of local-based professional intermediaries in their talks.
Both players almost signed contracts with South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfits Highlands Park FC and Polokwane City Stars but last-minute squabbles spoiled the deals.
The story was different though for ex-Bullets player Dalitso Sailesi last month when Sapao successfully facilitated his five-year deal with Zambian top-flight league club Lusaka Dynamos.
“It is difficult for individuals that have no proper negotiating skills or impeccable track record in player transfers to help players clinch deals with top clubs,” Sapao said in an interview.
According to the player transfers expert, he is working in partnership with Zambian intermediary Paricha Chikoye and licensed match agent Chiti Chitundu in facilitating deals of Zambian Under-20 stars Mumba Mwape and Shemmy Mayembe to Serbia and they got Brian Mwila of Green Buffaloes to PSL outfit Platinum Stars.