Likoma Island has now gone five years without its football teams participating in competitive games, including the regional Simama Premier League, which kicked-off yesterday.
Likoma district football chairperson Owen Tezela said the situation is derailing football development on the island.
He said the area has plenty of talent that if exposed through competitive games such as Simama League can contribute towards national teams.
“This has been the trend for the past five years where Likoma football teams have not participated in the Northern Region football league.
“We have more talent worth to be spotted and be recruited for national teams, but transport hiccups fail us to take part in the league. It can be good if the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Development can look at that so that we should be able to take part in such regional leagues,” he said.
Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) general secretary Alfred Gunda said the situation at Likoma requires long-term plans because there is a huge cost if teams from the island are to participate in the league.
“We have tried to expose our interest for Likoma teams to participate in the league but high transport costs destroys our ambitions. We are now looking at other alternatives by having cluster competition for the future talent,” said Gunda.
Meanwhile, 13 teams from Mzimba, Karonga, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay and Chitipa have registered for the 2015 Simama League.
The teams include Chilumba Barracks, Kaporo Stars, Karonga United, Ekwendeni United, Chalachala, Kabwafu, Mhuju, Kafukule, Mchenga Utuwa United, Nkhata Bay Stars. Livingstonia Mike FC, Rumphi Medicals and Kawaza.
According to Gunda, three teams are yet to confirm their participation in the league.
“We target 16 teams, but as of now 13 teams have registered. The other three teams are yet to confirm their participation,” said Gunda.
The three teams are Obama United, Kavula and Mzuzu City Rangers.
Mzuzu City Rangers general secretary Andrew Rifa said they are yet to secure funds for registration.