Central Region Football Association (CRFA) has suffered setback ahead of the 2020 Chipiku season after registering few teams in both Premier Division and Division One.
During 2019 season both leagues registered about 22 teams each but the number has dropped to 10 in Division One and 16 in Premier Division.
CRFA Vice General Secretary, Antonio Manda, blamed the suspension of football activities due to coronavirus pandemic as the major reason behind the low turnout.
“Most teams fear football might not be played again this season. They are hesitant to commit themselves to the league. This is worrisome we have never seen a drop in the number of teams registering as it is the case now. We had hoped to have 44 teams this year but we still can’t make the numbers. In Division One we are not anywhere near our target this is pathetic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manda said of the Super League relegated sides Mlatho Mponela and Dwangwa United were yet to register to compete in Premier Division.
He also said the two sides had been given 11 days to register.
Registration fee for Premier Division sides is at K230,000.
Dwangwa General Secretary Samson Zimba did not pick our calls despite several attempts but the teams’ coach Ladwell Mbetewa said the team was intact and will compete in this year’s CRFA League.
“The boys are currently training individually. Our GS has assured us that registration fee will be paid this week. We anticipate transportation challenges but we will certainly participate,” he said.
Mlatho Mponela Chairman, Steven Chapola, said his team will participate in the CRFA this year.
However, Chapola said the team had prioritised other pressing issues at the moment.
“We are down with Convid-19 issues but after this tough period we will regroup. We want to beef up the team with talent from rural areas rather than talent established players,” he said.
Mafco emerged the league’s Premier Division champions to book their ticket back to the Super League.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.