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Hitches mar Mpira Connect

STRUGGLED— Karonga could not use some players against KB

Williams Banda

Some teams got a rude awakening during the opening weekend of the TNM Super League after they were barred from using some players due to non-compliance with Mpira Connect.

The mandatory Mpira Connect requirements is an online platform that enables Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to register its stakeholders in a systematic way.

Fam treated the clubs with kid gloves during the pilot project last season.

However, Mpira Connect has come into full force this season, with only active players and officials allowed to be involved in official matches.

During the opening weekend of the season, Karonga United and rookies Sable Farming were victims as their respective technical panels were forced to change line-ups at the eleventh hour for non-compliance.

Karonga failed to use Ghanaian defender Eric Atsigah and Nigerian striker Amos Bello whereas Sable did not feature Happy Kasamba and goalkeeper Christopher Mikuwa.

In an interview, Sable General Secretary Anthony Kafuwa confirmed that his side had hitches to register two players.

“It was a wake-up call for us. Again, we failed to get clearance for two players in good time for the match. But we have managed to register Mikuwa,” Kafuwa said.

Sable Coach Joseph Malizani was forced to feature second choice goalkeeper Fletcher Jamali after Mikuwa was barred. The rookies lost 2-0 to Civil Service United at Civo Stadium whereas Karonga lost 3-1 to Kamuzu Barracks at home.

However, Karonga General Secretary Ramsy Simwaka was not readily available for his comment yesterday.

Despite the hitches that some clubs faced, Fam Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka commended the teams for embracing the project.

“Most of the teams followed the instructions; that is why only few teams had problems. This is the way to go as we digitise our game and we commend Sulom and clubs for taking a leading role,” he said.

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) General Secretary Williams Banda also confirmed that Mpira Connect was in full force over the weekend.

Currently, Mpira Connect is being implemented in Super League matches, all elite competitions and Women’s football national championship.

Apart from players, Mpira Connect helps keep track of coaches and referees.

Last season, Fam warned clubs that those that would fail to comply would be fined K50,000, deducted three points and banned for six months

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