At its 2023 2nd Executive Committee meeting on Saturday, August 12 at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) approved the Flames’ caretaker coach, Patrick Mabedi’s preparation programme for the last of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Guinea on September 9 at the Bingu National Stadium.
Though the Flames are already out of contention but using it to prepare for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 African qualifiers in which they grouped with Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Liberia and São Tomé.
Thus Mabedi planed and was approved to call the Flames for a full-time residential camp on August 28 for two weeks in Lilongwe.
The FAM Executive also agreed to shift the FDH Bank Cup semifinals from September 2-3 2023 to September 16-17 as players will not be released for local competitions fixtures during the two-week period.
The communique from FAM also said the Executive resolved that the Flames will not be engaged for international friendly matches during the October FIFA international window due to lack of funding and tight local football calendar.
“The Executive also resolved that FAM should continue engagement with government on funding for the Guinea match and the two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers to be played in November.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches will take place on 10 matchdays over the course of the next two years — the first of which will be on November 13-21, 2023.
The next match days will be held on June 3-11, 2024; March 17-25, 2025; September 1-9, 2025; October 6-14, 2025; and November 10-18, 2025.
On the football calendar, the communique said the Executive directed the Competitions Committee to revise it accordingly following the decision on the changes to the local fixtures as result of the Flames camping programme for the Guinea match.
The season which was initially expected to end on December 23, 2023 will now end on December 31.
Other resolutions included Club Licensing of which the FAM meeting approved the following proposals:
* Amend the FAM Club Licensing Regulations to include Women’s Football and Regional Football Leagues. Club Licensing for Women’s and Regional Leagues will be piloted for two years using criteria C;
* Minimum qualifications for Youth Coaches and Women’s League to be FAM C/D;
* Qualification for Assistant Coaches of Super League first team to be CAF C from current CAF B and minimum for Head coach to remain at CAF B;
* On financial criteria, it will be compulsory for all Super League Clubs to submit annual financial statements from a reputable external audit firm. On proof of non-overdue payables towards employees, all employees will sign a declaration form unlike currently where only the captain was signing;
* Super League clubs will not be paying a surety but their subvention funding from FAM and SULOM will be tied to club licensing where funds will be paid in instalments across the season on condition of fulfilling and complying with club licensing conditions at the beginning and during the entire season;
* The Executive resolved that the FAM should come up with categorization of stadiums to provide framework that can be applied and scaled to a range of football stadiums in Football competitions and profile of matches; and
* The Executive has guided that the First Instance Body should do a review of the status of Kamuzu Stadium and submit a report to Executive Committee before the end of August 2023. The Executive was informed that FAM conducted an inspection of Mzuzu and Civo Stadium two weeks ago and a report will be submitted in due course.
The meeting also approved amendments to the FAM Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players in line with the amendments made by FIFA, that include revision of fines on player tapping — in case of a club approaching an engaged player without the permission of the parent club.
For a professional player in the Super League the fine is K2 million from K500,000; for an amateur with contract in the Super League from K250,000 to K1 million and for Women’s Regional League K1 million.
For an amateur with contract in case of Regional Leagues and below the fine is up from K50,000 to K200,000 and for all other Women’s Football K25,000.
Also introduced are training compensation categories: K2.2 million for Super League clubs under Category 1; K1.1 million for Regional Leagues under Category 2; K550,000 for Youth (U-19) and Women’s under Category 3; and K250,000 for U-17 and below to age 12 under category 4.
The Executive also noted knowledge gap on players transfer matters and guided that FAM should come up with a sensitization programme for all stakeholders on Regulations on Status and Transfer of Players.
On youth and development, the committee approved the Luwinga Football Academy model, which will be residential for both girls and boys and expected to roll out in 2024.
The academy will be piloted by Talent Development Scheme from November 2023 and the Executive also gave the technical department mandate to start licensing football academies from 2024.
The Executive also approved Malawi’s participation in the 2023 CAF Schools Championship — whose format has changed whereby a national schools select, and not an individual school to represent the country at the zonal and competition level.