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Tread Malawi Defence Force teams carefully on the Lilongwe declaration

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Our football administration tends to be reactive rather that proactive. There was a memorandum that was agreed on and signed for in 2009 called the Lilongwe Declaration which was designed to make our football move forward.

But to date, some of the issues raised in that declaration have not been implemented and is being looked at now after one of Malawi Defence Force (MDF) teams, Red Lions, caused havoc at Kamuzu Stadium last week.

Many years back, Maxwell Chirwa got badly injured on national duty but, sadly, he was not assisted to get proper medical care and his bright football career ended there.

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Calls for medical insurance cover were made but up until another blossoming player, Douglas Chirambo died of brain tumour — also after being neglected on being given proper medical attention in time.

After being criticised left, right and centre for not implementing the necessary medical insurance, Sulom rose up from its slumber and issued an ultimatum that all clubs should sign up with Masm before the start of the season.

The clubs were given just a week to meet that requirement but some weeks into the 2015 season, few clubs have met that requirement — probably waiting for another disaster to happen.

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Fam, with instructions from Confederation of African Football (Caf), issued a directive that all clubs must be properly licenced by meeting requirements such as having own stadia, a secretariat to be run by a chief executive and several others, not any of the teams have met the directives.

Sulom met in Lilongwe over the weekend to re-scrutinise the Lilongwe Declaration, specifically on the issue of the number of representation from one institution.

The Declaration says only one team should represent one institution and at that time only one institution had more than one, the MDF with three teams — Moyale Barracks, Red Lions and Cobbe Barracks. Today, there are six — Moyale, Red Lions, Mafco Airbone Rangers and Kamuzu Barracks.

It will be a tall order to try and convince the MDF teams to form just one team because they have invested heavily in the teams.

Sulom and Fam should have told the MDF to slow down on the number of teams back then by reminding, them of the Lilongwe Declaration during that 2009-10 season to prepare for the 2010/11 season.

But both institutions kept quiet and continued to promote the MDF teams into the Super League. Sirens blared full throttle that something is wrong with the football setup after the unfortunate incident that happened last week that saw an innocent young man, who had nothing to do with what happened at the stadium, battling for his life after being assaulted by suspected soldiers.

This is not the first time that MDF teams have been involved in violence and they get scot free because no punishment is severe enough to deter them from repeating unsportsmanship behaviour.

Red Lions’players Dickson Mbetewa Jnr and Lot Chawinga were banned from playing football for 12months while Boniface Kaulesi, William Chiumya, Mathews Simbeye, George Haule, Thomas Makaombwa and Sunganani Msiska were given six months ban. The team was fined a total of K3.6 million.

From the look of things, the Lilongwe Declaration is like another punishment on the MDF but there is need to tread carefully on its implementation because there might be serious implication as a result of a reaction from the concerned parties.

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