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Sulom goes for match report technology

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TIYA SOMBA-BANDA

Malawi is set to join the rest of the African football fraternity in modernising match report submission using a system called CMS online.

Currently, match officials in the country submit reports using manual methods that are usually time consuming and cumbersome as they involve filling and transporting match forms.

The initiative is being championed locally by Super League of Malawi with implementation expected by August.

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The TNM Super League governing body’s president, Tiya Somba Banda, said the move is an effort to match other African leagues that are way ahead with modern technology.

“Most African countries such as South Africa are already using the CMS match reporting system and we do not want to be left behind. Here in Malawi, we want to take advantage of the Covid-19 football suspension to court our referees and train them so that we can further our delivery in terms of match reporting,” Banda said.

Grade One Fifa referee Ishmael Chizenga applauded Sulom for the initiative, saying Malawi needed to comply with international standards of match report submission.

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However, Chizenga cautioned that there was need to surmount challenges that come with usage of the system.

“It’s a welcome development to some of us who have been officiating international games for some time. This is the system we use for international matches. It is simple, fast and effective. It provides game knowledge to organisers within a short period of time unlike the traditional filling of a match report form which requires a lot of time. It also helps organisers to have full and detailed knowledge of referees in line with their individual performance.

“This is a system that facilitates easy flow of information on bookings and suspensions in a particular match. The only challenge is that it requires materials such as laptops and dongles with airtime. Otherwise it is good for our game. Most African countries have abandoned the use of match report forms and it is high time we joined them,” Chizenga said.

National referees’ fitness trainer, Moffat Champiti, also hailed Sulom for the initiative, saying it would help the country’s referees boost their skills in line with changing trends in the game.

“This system helps us to take stock of all bookings of players and officials. It also takes care of suspensions. In addition, every match report includes scorers and timing is done to perfection. We would be grateful if this is implemented in our country. The good thing is that we have several local referees who are already well versed with the system. We expect things to get even better because another group will be attending lessons about the system for the first time,” Champiti said.

If the CMS online system is implemented, it will help ease controversies that arise due to errors in filling match report forms.

Such errors have seen some teams featuring players that should have missed games.

Football and other sports activities remain suspended in the country since March 20 when President Peter Mutharika announced a ban to control the spread of coronavirus.

This led to failure of the season’s kick off on March 21.

However, Football Association of Malawi is engaging the government to consider lifting the suspension so that the new season kicks off in August.

This follows resolutions made by the association’s executive committee during an extraordinary meeting in Salima last weekend.

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