The honeymoon is over for Malawi Super League clubs as FAM and Sulom are set to enforce club licensing minimum requirements from next season.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) club licensing manager Casper Jangale disclosed this after making a presentation on club licensing during the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) annual general meeting (AGM) held in Salima at the weekend.
“With effect from January 1 2015, it is now mandatory that all national league teams should be licensed as directed by CAF [Confederation of African Football], but considering the challenges that we have, the process will be done gradually and then go full force from next season,” said Jangale.
He said failure to meet the requirements shall lead to a club not being issued a licence to take part in the top-flight league.
The FAM official said the immediate minimum requirements will include players’ contracts, an office, a full time administrator, a qualified coach with a CAF B licence, nursery team and infrastructure.
“We started enforcing the issue of player contracts last season and we expect clubs to adhere to that requirement before the start of the season, this time it will be mandatory. We also expect them to declare their bank accounts and produce audited accounts at the end of next season.
“All these are aimed at professionalising and improving the standards of the game,” said Jangale.
He also said teams will be expected to declare their training facilities and home venues.
Jangale further said clubs will also be required to declare ownership and that the process to register with the Registrar of Companies is being facilitated.
“Club licensing is not a new phenomenon, it started in 2009 when clubs, Sulom and Fifa came up with the Lilongwe Declaration, but due to some hitches that included the sour working relationship between FAM and Sulom, it could not be implemented and we are saying time has now come,” said Jangale.
He also said three clubs—rookies FC Surestream, Kamuzu Barracks and Red Lions—have so far submitted their applications.
“The other teams should emulate Surestream because they have met at least 80 percent of the immediate requirements,” he said.
According to Surestream GS Ophman Kondowe, Surestream has an office, a leased stadium, qualified personnel and contracts with players.
Silver Strikers chairperson McDonald Mafuta-Mwale and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers GS Mike Butao said they are in the process of meeting all the minimum requirements.
Mafuta-Mwale said the drive has the blessing of Silver’s patron Charles Chuka who is Governor of the Reserve bank of Malawi.
“The process is currently underway. Refurbishment of the stadium that will include construction of a proper secretariat, is part of that process,” said Mafuta-Mwale.
Butao said for a start, the Nomads have come up with a proper technical setup headed by Yasin Osman, formation of a youth team, hiring of an administrator and finance manager and setting up a secretariat at their club house along Lali Lubani Road in Chichiri.
Bullets GS Harold Fote said their first step was setting up a secretariat and formation of a nursery team.