- Might increase to 16 or decrease to 14
The TNM Super League might next season have either 14 teams or 16 depending on how teams will decide during the ongoing Super League of Malawi (Sulom) constitutional review.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda confirmed on Tuesday that the committee, headed by Dan Kuwali, had started receiving submissions from the current 15 clubs.
Club recommendations will then be compiled into a report which will be tabled at Sulom annual general meeting (AGM) this July for possible endorsement. The league’s current size of 15 has met criticisms as being difficult to come up with fixtures.
The 2009 Lilongwe Declaration, which the teams made, recommended trimming the league to 12 teams to enhance competition after noting that some teams just make up numbers.
“There will be a constitutional review meeting this weekend and another on May 14. The clubs are sending in their recommendations through Dr. McDonald Mafuta-Mwale. We want our constitution to be in line with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) statutes. Other issues include broadcasting rights as the current constitution mandates only Sulom to benefit from the rights,” Somba-Banda said.
“The issue of the number of teams will also be looked into. Some are saying we should have an odd number, so we are thinking of having an even number such as 14 or 16. This is what we agreed at our AGM. The constitutional review process will last for a month followed by a presentation of the recommendations in July.”
Moyale Barracks general secretary Grey Maluwa and Airborne Rangers acting chairperson Chancy Chimbayo said Sulom was yet to communicate to their respective clubs. Azam Tigers chairperson Sydney Chikoti also said he needed to verify with fellow club officials.
“We are having an ordinary general meeting, so we are also likely to table that and make our submissions,” Maluwa said on Wednesday.
Silver Strikers stand-in general secretary Fred Kalonga also said he needed to verify with suspended GS Mike Tembo if he received Sulom’s call for submissions.
The number of the teams for the league to be decided might also affect those from second-tier premier division whose three regional champions get promotion to step in for three relegated clubs.
Relegated Blantyre United technical director Lawson Nakoma on Wednesday said he prefers the elite league to have 16 teams “so as to encourage more participation. The issue of less competition is not about lack of quality players, but it is an issue of financial problems.”
Kuwali has since called on teams and stakeholders to make more submissions to his committee whose other members are Francis Kakhuta-Banda. The modalities of how to arrive at the increased or reduced league and sponsorship implication will be decided at the AGM.
“We still haven’t compiled the report. There are many divergent views. I am sure when we sit next time, we would be able to know the teams’ position. We are just facilitating the review and we will make recommendations. We request teams to speed up the submission by submitting them to Sulom general secretary office,” Kuwali explained. n