Women’s football returns to action this weekend with the kick-off of the 2022 FAM Women’s Leagues.
24 teams (eight from each region) are set to take part in this year’s competition which will be played in two phases.
The first phase will be at Regional level where eight teams in each region will play in a round robin format on home and away basis and then a national phase where top three teams from each Region will compete in the National championship.
There has been a change of teams in the regions this year as some were relegated after the regional play-offs while some teams withdrew from the league.
In the South, Bvumbwe have replaced Sitima Yoce who were relegated during the regional play-offs while Chikwawa Queens retained their position after defeating Red Lions Women.
Central Region has two new teams in Blue Eagles Ladies and Kamuzu Institute as they replaced Chilinde Queens and TC 11 FC who withdrew from the League.
In the North, all teams who played in the 2021 edition have retained their slots in the league with Sanwecka Sisters changing their name to Bico Women, named after their sponsor Bico Opticals.
There are expectations of high-level competition in this year’s League as some teams are now under Super League clubs following the new CAF Club Lincensing regulation that Men’s Clubs participating in CAF sanctioned competitions should have a Women’s team.
Nyasa Big Bullets now have a Women’s team, formerly known as Blantyre Zero while Civil Service United adopted Skippers as their Women’s team. Blue Eagles also have a team in the league .
According to National Women’s Football Association (NWFA) General Secretary Lina Mtegha, the association has removed the closed League format and introduced the rule of relegation and promotion to enhance competition.
“We noted that there were teams who were capable of competing at regional level but were failing to make it because we only had slots for eight teams and no team was being relegated.
“This time around, we want quality football and stiff competition so the two bottom placed teams by the end of the regional phase will face other teams who want to join the league in the play-offs so that we pave way for other teams to participate,” said Mtegha.