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Sulom in dilemma

Release fixture for planning purposes—Silver Strikers

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Thokozani Chimbali

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) is panicking after some teams asked the body to hold an annual general meeting (AGM) before the season kicks off on February 26.

The club’s concerns range from match fixing claims, TV broadcasting rights and club licencing requirements.

Ironically, Sulom is supposed to give 21-day notice to the teams before holding an AGM but incidents on the ground suggest that Sulom is not ready to call for the meeting.

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Silver Strikers Chief Executive Officer Thokozani Chimbali said they were preparing for the new season while expecting Sulom to call for an AGM before the TNM Super League starts.

“We are okay [with kick-off date] and hoping the AGM, which ought to precede the season, shall be convened by Sulom where, among other things, the rules and regulations shall be presented. We are also expecting the fixture to be released as soon as possible for planning purposes,” Chimbali said.

Civil Service United General Secretary Ronald Chiwaula shared the statements, saying Sulom must ensure that all club licencing requirements have been sorted before the kick-off.

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“We have no problem with the kick-off date. However, we feel league administrators should call for an AGM and make sure to follow all club licencing requirements. They also need to inspect pitches to certify them,” he said.

Mighty Wanderers’ Secretary to the Board of Directors Humphreys Mvula said Sulom should hold an AGM first to iron out issues that blurred last season.

“There are a lot of issues that only the AGM can tackle. We have match fixing claims. That issue is still hanging. We need to get to the bottom of it. Such an issue can be addressed at an AGM,” he said.

Mvula said another contentious issue was the TV broadcasting rights which can help clubs generate revenue if well exploited.

“We need proper statements to understand decisions that have been made regarding the broadcasting rights to avoid being used and duped as it has been the case. Sulom must understand that most clubs rely on gate revenue but nowadays it is difficult to get revenue from the gates due to restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

However, Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda could not state whether the AGM will be held but insisted that the league kickoff date would not change.

“Now that the national football team is back from Cameroon where it was taking part in the Africa Cup of Nation finals, we are proceeding with our earlier arrangement of kicking off the 2022 TNM Super League season on February 26,” he said.

Banda said they were working jointly with Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to ensure that all club licence related issues have been addressed.

“We are already in touch with Fam who are finalising club licencing procedures with the teams and we will not relent,” Banda said.

Fam Club Licencing and Compliance Manager Casper Jangale also confirmed the development.

“Following our last communication with Sulom, nothing has changed. We are meant to start the season on February 26 but the only challenge is that most football pitches might not pass the test. We are, therefore, calling on ground owners to finalise maintenance works for pitches to pass the test,” he said.

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