By Williams Gondwa and Ronald Mpaso:
The 2020 football season risks being nullified should the ban on all sports activities run beyond September.
Malawi National Council of Sports announced the suspension of sports action last month after the country started registering Covid-19 cases.
This led to cancellation of the TNM Super League’s kick off at the eleventh hour.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president, Walter Nyamilandu, said an emergency Executive Committee meeting held on Monday resolved to declare the 2020 season null and void if the sports ban goes beyond September.
“The season will be considered to have been lost if the delay lasts more than six months. Bearing in mind that it is not yet known when football will return to action, we have agreed that the season will go ahead with some adjustments to fixtures if the ban lasts less than six months.
“In that case, we would allow the season to spill over to next year. If the delay extends beyond six months, it will be considered to have been lost and Fam will start planning for the new season which will start in January 2021,” Nyamilandu said.
Karonga United Chairperson, Matthews Tulombolombo, concurred with Fam, saying the season would be disrupted by rains if it extended beyond December.
“Our football calendar is designed in such a way that it ends as the rainy season picks up. We cannot play football under rainy conditions because of the condition of our pitches.
“Rains usually start in December and extending the season to 2021 will not be good for the game. We therefore agree with Fam’s position,” Tulombolombo said.
Central Region Football Association General Secretary, Bernard Harawa, also sided with Fam on the matter.
“Every stakeholder in the game would have loved to see the return of football on the pitch but the current situation does not allow us to do so. We needed to have kicked off the season as soon as yesterday but we just cannot do it because of the pandemic.
“As a Fam affiliate, we are bound by any decision that our mother body makes. We will wait until the right time comes. We just have to comply with measures put in place by Fam so that we play our role in defeating the pandemic,” Harawa said.
Bes ides the TNM Super League, the new season is expected to have cup competitions such as Airtel Top 8, Charity Shield, FDH Bank and Fisd Challenge.