The country’s top three football teams have ganged up against Super League of Malawi (Sulom) over the announcement of a date for this year’s annual general meeting (AGM).
Sulom notified its affiliates about the end August AGM through a press release publicised on Monday night.
The giants, Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers, have joined forces in querying (Sulom) about the decision to hold the meeting when the season’s kickoff date remains unknown.
The decision to hold the AGM was arrived at during Sulom’s executive committee meeting over the weekend.
One of the AGM’s agenda items is the replacement of former legal advisor, Muhammad Selemani whose post fell vacant after he was elected Football Association of Malawi (Fam) executive member during December’s polls.
Fam is currently engaged in consultations with various stakeholders on the possibility of kicking off the 2020 season in August.
The country’s football governing body presented a roadmap on the return of football to Sports Minister Francis Phiso after a petition from supporters calling for commencement of the game by May 30.
Bullets Chief Administrator, Albert Chigoga, said Sulom should have called for the AGM after setting a date for the league’s kick off.
“It is good that Sulom has finally arranged for the meeting to take place. But it could have been better if this meeting took place before the new season kicks off. We are relieved that Sulom has finally made a resolution to hold the AGM.
“Most of the points that emerged from the meeting directly concern football clubs, hence it is only appropriate to engage and deliberate with us as major stakeholders in the game. Our wish is that this AGM should precede the restart of the season to avoid moving back and forth,” Chigoga said.
Wanderers General Secretary, Victor Maunde, said they were shocked to learn that Sulom had arranged to hold the AGM monthend of August.
Maunde said Sulom could have staged the AGM in July to enable stakeholders to resolve challenges they faced last season.
“Why waiting until August end yet we have the whole July ahead of us? This means that if we can be given the go-ahead to start the season on August 1, we will be unable to find ways of addressing last season’s challenges. As Wanderers, we want to put it on record that we are not comfortable with starting the season before holding the AGM,” Maunde said.
Silver Chief Executive Officer, Thokozani Chimbali, advised Sulom to hold the AGM before August.
“At first, we received communication from Sulom that an AGM was not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But we believe that it is possible to hold the meeting now,” Chimbali said.
He said since the government is yet to approve the new season’s commencement in August, Sulom should take advantage by holding the AGM as soon as possible.
“Starting the season first and then going for the AGM would be like jumping the gun. Basically, the AGM tackles issues about the new season and having it before the season’s kickoff helps in ensuring better preparations. But it seems Sulom wants us to start the season and then meet to discuss issues that could have been tabled before the beginning of the season,” Chimbali said.
But Sulom President, Tiya Somba Banda, clarified that the season can still kick off without the meeting.
“Some of these things are not backed by our constitution. There is nothing that can stop us from commencing the season before holding the AGM. Convening an AGM before kickoff of a season is not anywhere in our constitution, so I do not see any problem with having the meeting in August.
“The communique has only indicated AGM timelines and nothing on the kick-off date. We are all yet to know when the season will commence,” Somba Banda said.
Civo Service General Secretary, Ronald Chiwaula, said he also had no problems with holding the AGM after the season kicks off.
“Sulom already communicated what was discussed during last week’s meeting. I know there are a lot of issues to do with Covid-19 that needed to be discussed but I do not see any problem with Sulom holding the meeting in August,” Chiwaula said.
Commencement of the new season was suspended in March due to the pandemic.
One of the thorny issues that are expected to dominate the meeting is Sulom’s failure to release gate collection figures for the 2019 season.