Some Super League of Malawi (Sulom) clubs have complained that the practice of putting the league on hold when the Flames are in camp is taking its toll on them.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda on Monday said starting with the forthcoming Cosafa Castle Cup, the league will revert to the standard rule which states that only those teams that have contributed more than three players to the national team will be exempted from fixtures.
The current arrangement was adopted at a pre-season meeting involving all stakeholders in Blantyre after it was noted that the old system did not level the playing field.
Asked why Sulom has decided to revert to the old system without seeking the views of all the stakeholders, in particular its affiliates, Banda claimed that some teams have asked his office to reconsider the issue because it is ineffective and costly.
But he could not be drawn to disclose the identities of the teams.
“One of the reasons they are giving is that it is costly to cater for things such as transport and food for players during training when the league is on hold.
“As a league, our position is that we have a tight schedule and most of the teams are not financially sound, hence the need to revert to the old system which is the standing rule,” said Banda.
Teams that are against putting the league on hold because of Flames assignments include Epac and Blantyre United, who usually contribute one player each.
“We spend about K12 000 [$30] a day on transport alone, but then we go for three weeks without a game and yet we contribute just one player to the national team. The other thing is that, the current system affects consistency of our team,” said Epac general secretary Roy Mdechi.
He said Epac are 100 percent in support of not suspending the league.
“In fact, teams that contribute more players to the national team are usually Bullets, Silver and Wanderers, therefore, Sulom should consider exempting only those three if they contribute more than three players to the Flames,” said Mdechi.
Blantyre United technical director Lawson Nakoma said his club would support exempting only those teams that contribute more players to the Flames, but on condition that Sulom should handle fixtures professionally.
“Last season, the standard rule created problems because Silver had more games in hand which led to teams becoming suspicious on the handling of fixtures,” he said.
Big Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire, his Azam Tigers counterpart Geoff Kachale and Mighty Wanderers chairperson George Chamangwana said they were not part of the teams advocating for the change.
Said Mkandawire: “We adopted the current system because the rule on exempting teams from fixtures was prone to match-fixing and beneficial to some teams.”
Civo United general secretary Rashid Ntelela said the loopholes in the old system were that there were some teams that could have five games in hand, which gave them an advantage over others.
When the Flames were preparing for 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Kenya, the flagship league was put on hold for a month.