Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) has hiked affiliation fees for the 2018 Simama League from K100,000 to K150,000.
NRFA General Secretary, Masiya Nyasulu, said the hike was agreed upon during a pre-season meeting with teams in Mzuzu last Friday.
Nyasulu said the meeting was aimed at ensuring effective management of the league in the new season.
“We anticipate a good season following the increase in sponsorship money from our main sponsor, Bishop Abraham Simama. We also secured another sponsorship from Superior and Purola cooking oil which makes our total sponsorship add up to K7 million.
“Stakeholders during the meeting agreed that we raise the prize money to K2 million from last season’s K1.2 million. Therefore, to ensure we are able to pay referees well, we needed to raise the affiliation fees,” Nyasulu said.
The stakeholders at the meeting also agreed to increase the number of teams participating in the league this year to 18 from 16 last season.
Nyasulu said last season’s top 10 teams would earn automatic admission while the others would have to go through thorough scrutiny to be allowed entry.
He said apart from the affiliation fees, teams will also pay K5,000 per player for registration.
“This is to help the teams secure their players. We have had situations where teams complain that other teams have signed their players without following procedures.
“This was happening because there was no valid documentation on the ownership of the players. But, with the documentation we will compile, it will be easy for us to intervene and bring order into the system,” Nyasulu added.
However, a Rumphi United official, Luka Tembo, who attended the meeting, disputed Nyasulu’s remarks.
Tembo said it is not true that the teams agreed on hiking the fees.
“The hike is on the higher side. This will only make the cost of running teams higher considering the expenses we incur in fulfilling our games. They should also consider how much prize money teams get at the end of the season.
“We certainly did not agree on that. The decision was just communicated to us and we had no time to argue or discuss it as it came towards the end of the meeting,” Tembo said.
During the meeting, NRFA also announced change of the league’s name to Simso, to accommodate the coming in of new sponsors Superior and Purola cooking oil.
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