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To Mangochi with fire fighters

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The attention of soccer fans this weekend shifts to Mangochi District where Super League of Malawi (Sulom) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today.

Sulom officials and affiliates will converge at Pamadzi Beach Resort to discuss pertinent issues that will possibly bring notable changes to the 2018 football season, and eventually iron out long-time challenges in the game.

After Sulom failed to hold the AGM last year due to financial constraints, now delegates have a chance to get answers for outstanding issues.

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This is not an ordinary AGM as it comes when Sulom and some club officials are embroiled in controversies following what transpired during the week.

This week the soccer fraternity was treated to an astounding issue of some club officials mobilising themselves to dissolve Sulom Executive Committee. Some club officials insist they merely created a WhatsApp group to share their concerns pertaining to the league.

Social media maniacs leaked screenshots of the WhatsApp group discussions among the club officials, on

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the alleged coup that went viral on social platforms.

What is interesting is that both parties seem to have agreed to speak with one voice.

Among the set constitutional agenda for the meeting are presentations of financial report, general secretary’s report, consideration of proposals and questions from affiliates.

What is apparent is that there is bad blood between Sulom and its affiliates, the 16 clubs, who are not contented with how the league is being run.

Some club officials agreed during the week that they would like to push for restructuring of Sulom because it is not representing the clubs’ interests.

“Instead of Sulom officials being our servants, they behave like our masters. Some responsible officials want us to be kneeling down and worshipping them, which is not the way to operate,” Silver Strikers General Secretary, Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda, told The Daily Times during the week.

His Be Forward Wanderers’ counterpart, Mike Butao, echoed Chakaka-Nyirenda’s concerns, saying they expect Sulom officials to change the way they handle concerns from clubs.

“For Sulom to respond to your concerns it is never easy. Most of the times, our issues just die a natural death because there is nobody to attend to them,” Butao said.

Given the clubs’ discontentment with Sulom’s way of doing things and the underground dealings to dissolve the Executive Committee, this AGM will be like no other.

Pamadzi Beach Resort today welcomes two warring camps of delegates who should leave aside their differences and come up with plausible solutions for the betterment of the Super League. Is this AGM on course to achieve that?

As observed by veteran footballer and analyst, Peterkins Kayira, the call to do away with the Sulom Executive Committee is ill-timed.

“In the first place why are these people coming now with this solution [of getting rid of the Executive Committee]? Where were they all along? Why are some clubs not involved in this matter?” Kayira wondered.

Former Nyasa Big Bullets General Secretary, Chimwemwe Nyirenda, advised the clubs to do away with the officials they are unhappy with and not dissolving Sulom.

After years of accusations and counter-accusations on how the league is being run, soccer fans expect answers from the AGM on where the league is getting it wrong.

The country awaits solutions on why standards of officiation in the league are still a major concern.

Why can’t Sulom come up with fixtures on time?

Why does the league governing body take time to resolve disciplinary issues?

Why is the Super League’s sponsorship among the lowest in Southern Africa?

And most importantly, this AGM should thrash the way forward on the messed up television broadcasting rights deal.

Is Pamadzi Beach Resort ready to write a new chapter for the Super League?

Clubs are also expected to dwell much on issues of sharing of gate revenue, and registration of players.

Despite the challenges, former Dedza Young Soccer coach Millias Pofera believes that Sulom has made strides.

“Sulom has been able to finish the league in time despite late kick-off. The league has also been disturbed by national team games but Sulom tries its best. Sulom has also tried to punish perpetrators of violence and hooliganism by melting out stiff punishments and all these are commendable,” Pofera said.

The bottom line is that the concerns that have been there require concerted efforts as Sulom alone cannot manage to solve them.

As teams accuse Sulom of not representing their interests, is ousting Sulom Executive Committee the best solution?

Sulom might not be problem or a solution to the aforesaid but the delegates at the AGM need to join hands and explore more on where the problems and solutions are.

Will Pamadzi Beach Resort’s fire extinguishers douse the fire today?

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