Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has justified that only under-23 players are eligible to take part in the district leagues since they have potential to grow.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu said this during the launch of Central Region leagues at Salima Community Centre Ground on Saturday.
“We want to concentrate our efforts on players who have the potential to grow and take our football forward. We already have a foundation with the Fam Under 14, 16, 17 and the First Capital Bank Under 20 leagues. We needed to bridge the gap with the Super League so that the pathway for player development and transition must be smooth,” Nyamilandu said.
“Players must come from these leagues to go and play for the Super League and national teams and that can only happen if we are dealing with the right age group.
“We don’t want players that played at Super League level before and retired to be playing in this league because they don’t have a future in the game.”
Fam will appoint scouts in each district to monitor talent.
The competition rules states that players who are 23 years old or below are eligible to participate in the leagues.
Central Region Football Association General Secretary Bernard Harawa said they will be strict to curb age cheating.
“We warn all teams to register players of the right age. We will ensure that data is gathered systematically using the Mpira Connect so that we have the right people playing in our leagues,” Harawa said.
The launch was spiced up with a ceremonial match as Sangu FC beat Chitala FC 1-0.
The association launched the leagues in the Northern Region in Nkhata Bay last week and will launch in Nsanje (Southern Region) soon.