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Sulom speaks on Fam’s meeting

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Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has welcomed cautiously reforms which Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is championing, including reviewing the Super League structure, but called for clarity on the objectives.

Sulom General Secretary, Williams Banda, was reacting to a meeting which Fam and Fifa consultant, Robbie Middleby, hosted for Sulom and club officials at Mpira Village in Blantyre on Monday.

Banda said the agenda of the meeting, which also tackled issues of finance, sponsorship and youth development, leading to the formation of a task force, should have originated from the clubs, which are affiliated to Sulom.

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“First and foremost, they invited the clubs and Sulom yet Sulom represents the clubs. We did not even see the Terms of Reference for the consultant. This consultant also came recently and we needed to see his Inception Report to review his previous findings,” Banda said.

“Sulom is an affiliate of Fam and if they are reviewing our structure, it has to apply to all affiliates of Fam. Sulom is just like any other affiliate. The reforms are important, but we need clear-cut objectives to avoid what has happened with Club Licensing, which has still not migrated to regional leagues.”

In a press release, Fam said Middleby hosted the meeting which was aimed at addressing clubs’ concerns on deals that affect them. The clubs allegedly feel sidelined in such deals.

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“It is important that all key stakeholders should be involved and understand what is being achieved. So there is need for transparency so that everybody is aware to avoid misunderstanding that lead to mistrust,” Middleby told the gathering.

The deals, which the clubs are concerned with, were not specified. However, recently, Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers took Sulom to task demanding a copy of a broadcasting rights’ deal which the league body awarded to Beta Television.

The meeting culminated into the taskforce comprising Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao (representing clubs), Alfred Lungu (Sulom) and two Fam officials to liase with Fifa, through Middleby, on the restructuring of the Super League.

Fam and Sulom often step on each other’s toe. The review of the structure of the league is, sources say, reportedly meant to see whether the Super League should still operate independently.

The second option is of an associate structure, where the league would fall under Fam’s desk. The third structure would have the league operating independently with Fam retaining a minority shareholding in the league.

Fam second vice-President, Othaniel Hara, is quoted in the press release that the meeting will help Malawi re-organise its elite football by following best practices.

“There are a lot of issues that we are not doing right. In terms of how we negotiate contracts, how our teams and the league itself are run. So it was important to bring all these key stakeholders together to bang heads and be on the same footing,” Hara said.

The press release added that Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba Banda, who attended the meeting, described it as an eye-opener.

Fam’s outgoing General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, referred questions to Transfer Matching System Manager, Casper Jangale, who, just like Hara, could not be reached.

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