Malawi’s referees are enforcing changes to the Laws of the Game before the effective date of June 1, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has confirmed.
One of the changes will see coaches getting red cards on behalf of a misbehaving member of the technical panel who cannot be identified.
The changes were agreed upon during the 133rd Annual General Meeting of the International Football Associations Board in Aberdeen, Scotland, early last month.
The permutations are supposed to come into force on June 1 but Fam Referees Development Officer, Maxwell Mtonga, said local referees started enforcing them on April 13 when the TNM Super League kicked off.
Mtonga said competitions starting before that date were given freedom to apply the changes from the start of their competitions.
“We decided to start enforcing the changes right away because we have several competitions kicking off before that date. So we started with the Super League which kicked off on April 13.
“Enforcing the changes on the stated date would have been confusing because we cannot use different sets of rules for the same competition,”he said.
Mtonga said the changes empower referees to issue a yellow or red card to the senior coach in the technical area if an offender cannot be identified.
“All this is aimed at ensuring that there is discipline and sanity in the game. Every stakeholder should play a role in ensuring that our game is incident-free,” he said.
Malawi National Football Coaches Association General Secretary, Davie Mpima, said coaches were aware of all the changes and understood the need to ensure that tall members of technical panel is disciplined at all times.
“We had time to sit down with all coaches before the season kicked off. We are all aware of what we are supposed to do in complying with the Laws of the Game. In short, every coach is responsible for disciplining of his technical panel,” Mpima said.
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