Serious questions on Turkey trials

I said from the onset that I smelt a rat on the trials of Malawi under-23 national team players—Blessing Mpokela, Alick Lungu, Chawanangwa Gumbo, Mphatso Kamanga and Fanizo Mwansambo—in Turkey and I will say it again.

The trials, which Football Association of Malawi (FAM) blessed with both hands by writing letters to Nyasa Big Bullets (owners of Mpokela and Lungu), Ekwendeni Hammers (Gumbo), Karonga United (Kamanga) and Bangwe All Stars (Mwansambo) who own the players, were ill timed and ill-conceived right from the first whistle.

Now it has transpired that the agency wants to sign the players free of charge for its newly formed lower league football club in Turkey promising to give the clubs back home in Malawi 50 percent in the event that each of the players is sold to another professional club.

However, as you would expect, the Super League clubs are having none of it as what the agency is saying is contrary to what it told the clubs that the agency would facilitate deals for the players to top European clubs and not Pelican Football Club.

It was fundamentally wrong for FAM to poke its nose in the affairs that were at that baby stage strictly between the clubs and the Turkey-based players’ agency International Pelican Sports.

It was wrong for FAM to, simply because they organized the under-23 team’s trip to Turkey, jumped the gun and dispatched letters to the clubs seeking their consent on the trials.

If indeed this agency was dead serious on inviting the players for the trials, they could have found a way of communicating to the teams back home in Malawi.

FAM should know the domestic and international football hierarchy that players belong to clubs, which are in turn, affiliated to the Super League of Malawi, which reports to FAM as an affiliate.

All players’ intermediaries deal with clubs and FAs only come into regulate transfers after all parties—the selling and buying teams have agreed. By writing official letters informing the clubs about the trials, FAM put itself in a compromising position now it would difficult to play the role of an objective referee.

At this stage, the clubs cannot trust FAM because the officials for the association were in direct contact with the agency in Turkey and no one knows on what basis they engaged such potential buyers.

FAM does not own the under-23 players and that is the more reason they write the clubs seeking their consent to release the footballers for camp training and indeed foreign trips as was the case with the one to Turkey.

FAM must have been up to something when they took the team to Turkey. It appears someone at Chiwembe is playing middleman in players’ transfers; hence, the aim of the trip was to sell the players.

At a time, the world is grappling with issues of match-fixing. FAM should be the last to engage in such dirty player deals that do not make sense.

An agency cannot own a club then invite players for trials and dictate terms for such transfers, even suggesting the percentage of a cut to give the parent teams for the players.