Almost a week after Super League of Malawi’s (Sulom) appeals committee upheld the league’s decision to hold play-offs aimed at identifying the 16th team in the TNM Super League, Dedza Young Soccer have declared that they will not take part in the play-offs and have advised Sulom to pick a candidate of its choice from the relegated teams.
The club also says it will vacate the court injunction restraining Sulom from proceeding with the promotion play-offs for the good of football.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times signed by the team’s general secretary Harold Mmora and copied to Fam, Sulom, Super League sponsors Telekom Neworks Malawi and other stakeholders, Dedza says it has completely lost confidence in the Sulom executive, which was found guilty by both the court of law and its own instituted appeals committee of handling the club’s case in an amateurish manner.
“We do not want to be part of play-offs organised by an inefficient organisation. We feel taking part in the play-offs will render the 2015 TNM Super League useless and dilute the aim of accumulating points, having noted that a losing club can be favoured and promoted basing on the club’s connections in society at the expense of a rural based club without such connections.
“It is our collective position that we are no longer participating in the play-offs and that the injunction will be lifted because our efforts landed into the ears of people, who had already made their mind,” reads the letter.
The club has further faulted the determination by Sulom’s appeals committee to uphold the Sulom executive’s decision, when it was clear in the face of everybody privy to the case that the executive breached its own rules and regulations of handling complaints from concerned parties.
The appeals committee has also been faulted by Dedza of turning down the club’s request to parade witnesses to prove its argument that the assembly at the Sulom Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held on November 14, 2015 in Lilongwe resolved that two teams be relegated from the elite league and three from the lower leagues promoted.
“Although we have enough grounds of appeal, we have decided to forgo all the grounds for the good of football,” reads the letter.
Sulom is yet to make its position on the decision by Dedza, which comes fast on the heels of comments from Airborne Rangers officials and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) headquarters that Rangers might also not proceed with the play-offs due to the decision by top management at MDF to reduce the number of military teams in the league from five to three by next year.
The decision by MDF top management has already affected the participation of newly promoted Chilumba Barracks in the top-flight league. It is not clear if Sulom will let Chilumba’s runners-up Karonga United to fill the vacancy created by Chilumba’s withdrawal or conduct play-offs involving top teams from the Simama Northern Region Football League to determine a replacement.
Tradition has it that the second best team from the regional league takes the place of the number one team when the champions are unable to play in the Super League but with the precedent set by Sulom to have play-offs to fill a vacancy in the league, it will be hypocritical on the part of the league to admit Karonga United without holding play-offs.
An investigation concluded recently by Nyasa Times revealed some Fam and Sulom officials have been conspiring to deny Dedza the opportunity of remaining in the national league and promote bottom placed FISD Wizards, who finished eight points behind Dedza on the 2015 TNM Super League log table.
In countries where promotion play-offs are held, the bottom team automatically goes down and is not allowed to take part in play-offs.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :