TNM Super League looks certain to have 16 teams starting next season.
This follows the overwhelming Super League of Malawi (Sulom) constitutional review recommendations to increase the number from the current 15.
The increase is subject to Sulom extraordinary general meeting (EGM) approval. Once endorsed, two teams only will be relegated this season with three regional Premier Division champions, as per tradition, promoted, Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda confirmed yesterday.
Former Sulom vice-president Dan Kuwali is leading the review committee.
The increase, which most Super League clubs have suggested during the review, is meant to ensure balance of fixtures and step to up competition.
“Basically, that was debated during a constitutional review. What remains is for the affiliates to endorse this at the EGM this July or August. The feeling is that it will help in balancing the game. The constitutional review committee is consolidating the recommendations to be given to the affiliates 14 days before the EGM,” said Somba-Bandas, who is standing in for general secretary Williams Banda.
Bottom-placed Civo United general secretary Rashid Ntelela yesterday supported the increase “for a reason that the odd number of teams has also played a part in the challenges of coming up with an ideal fixture. On a lighter note, this is a good proposal considering where Civo is on the log table.”
With 15 teams, it is impossible to have every team playing on a single day. The league has since its formation in 1986 never had uniformity of games played. Most leagues across the world have even number of teams.
Central Region Football Association (CRFA) general secretary Bernard Harawa yesterday suggested that the increase could translate to more competition.
The increase could also have costs implication as TNM sponsors the league to the tune of K90 million (US$200 000) annually. But Sulom hopes that once the EGM agrees, they will convince the sponsors to accommodate one more team.
Somba-Banda insisted that the increase might not affect clubs, but relegated Super League side Blantyre United’s technical director Lawson Nakoma yesterday had reservations.
“However, the increase is okay it could add competition but, we have to be clear of what we want to achieve. Our football might be increasing worries and problems because teams are struggling financially all over as they do not have capacity,” argued Nakoma.
Article six on composition and membership states that the league’s composition and membership “shall be determined by Sulom executive which shall make and amend rules and regulations for the proper functioning of Sulom.”
“No alteration, amendment or addition shall be made to this constitution, save by a special resolution carried by a majority of not less than two thirds of the votes of members constituting a quorum as provided for hereunder, present and entitled to vote at a special general meeting,” reads Article 25 of the constitution.
Additionally, the teams want a review of the Sulom constitution to ensure that clubs benefit from broadcasting rights. Currently, the constitution mandates only Sulom to get the rights’ proceeds. Big Bullets are defending champions.