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‘Politics affected Club Licensing’

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has admitted that lack of proper coordination and a good working relationship between the association and the country’s elite football runners, Super League of Malawi (Sulom), had contributed to the country’s failure to implement Club Licensing.

Fam’s executive member James Mwenda made the revelation Tuesday at Fam headquarters in Blantyre during the opening ceremony of a two-day Confederation of African Football (Caf) Club Licensing seminar.

Malawian clubs missed the deadline of meeting all conditions in order to be fully-established professional entities and be licensed by Caf from 2014-2015.

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Following the extension of the deadline to December 2016, Fam organised a seminar to enlighten the clubs on how they could attain professional status and get Licensed by Caf in order to participate in Africa’s elite competitions.

Looking back, Mwenda observed that politics had contributed to Malawi football’s failure to embrace Club Licensing and implement the 2009 Lilongwe Declaration which calls for turning clubs into professional and commercially viable entities.

“For a long time Sulom and Fam have been fighting instead of developing the game. Am particularly happy now that even in Fam’s new statutes, Sulom has been given the place that it deserves. Having the Sulom president as an executive member means he will now be involved in the decision making process at the board level. We will be resolving issues including issues of elite club football at the executive level,” he said.

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“For a long time Sulom was not incorporated in the decision making body. You will see that in the first executive meeting after the elections, the Sulom president will automatically be in the Fam executive. Ideally it is for the Sulom president to bring issues that are coming from the clubs to Fam so that we can work together for the good of our game.”

Mwenda added that, at the moment, clubs would be required to fulfill minimum requirements in order to get licensed.

“We have to move in stages. Some of the minimum requirements are that the clubs should have audited accounts, they should have offices, they should have financial statements and they should employ full-time administrators including qualified accounts personnel. They should also hold annual general meetings. We will scale up until the teams are fully independent and are able to own assets such as stadiums,” he said.

The seminar was being facilitated by Cosafa CEO Sue Destombes and Safa CEO Dennis Mumble.

Sulom executive members, representatives of clubs and other Fam affiliates attended the seminar.

Club Licensing champions the professionalisation of clubs to improve the standards of football in Africa.

Only Licensed clubs would be allowed to take part in the Caf Champions League and Confederations Cup.

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