Player union pushes for independence

Football Players Association of Malawi (Fpam) says it is revising its board in a bid to become independent in line with recommendations from the world governing players’ union body, Federation of International Professional Football Players (FIFPro).

Fpam general secretary (GS) Ernest Mangani, in an interview yesterday, said the new board will exclude FAM, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) officials as its board of directors.

He said Fpam applied for affiliation to FIFPro, but it was pended until it aligned its statutes to the world football players union.

During its registration, Fpam included FAM, Sulom and Malawi National Council of Sports officials as part of the board of directors.

“FIFPro feels we can operate better when we are independent. We have, therefore, revised our board to exclude these officials. We will soon submit the revised documents to the Registrar General to effect the changes,” Mangani said.

The GS said the move follows the FIFPro recommendations for the association to be independent.

“Our association’s objective is to protect players from ill-treatment from institutions that are affiliated to FAM and Sulom. In that case, it will be difficult for us to act independently,” he said.

Mangani said securing the FIFPro affiliation will benefit the local association a lot as it will be getting financial support and technical expertise.

He also unveiled plans to become a member of Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU), an umbrella body for organisations that fight for workers’ rights.

“We expect all these processes, funds permitting, to be completed this year. That is when we will intensify recruitment efforts to grow our membership base,” he said.

Reacting to the Fpam plans, MCTU president Luther Mambala described it as a positive step, but urged the association to step up its recruitment.

“For them to register as a union, they must have 20 percent of all footballers in the country as their members. If they achieve that then they will easily register with the registrar for trade unions and later affiliate to the MCTU,” he said.

FAM GS  Alfred Gunda said they have approved the independence of the association whose establishment was spearheaded by the soccer governing body.

“From the onset, when we met FIFpro the guidance was to make it an independent body.

“FAM was just been playing a supportive role to get the body started, noting the importance of the presence of such an entity for the game,” he said. Fpam was started with the support of Football Association of Malawi (FAM), to fight for the players’ welfare.

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