The sports fraternity has been dealt a severe blow after the Presidential Taskforce on Covid reinstituted strict measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.
Among the measures that taskforce co-chairperson Khumbize Kandodo- Chiponda announced Wednesday at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe include a restriction of people at football matches to 100.
This automatically means that spectators have once again been barred from watching matches after the government had earlier eased measures to allow not more than 250 fans into match venues.
The new measures follow a rapid increase in the number of both positive cases and deaths in recent weeks.
Kandodo-Chiponda said the total number of 100 into match venues was for players and officials only.
“Sporting activities should adhere to 100 people; that is, players and officials. No spectators will be allowed at the games. We have been closely monitoring the trend of the pandemic in our country and we have seen an increase in the new Covid cases, admissions and deaths since June 1 2021.
“I would love to emphasise the need for all of us to strictly adhere to the prescribed level -three measures as they will help to suppress and stop further transmission of the disease in our country,” she said.
Football Association of Malawi General Secretary Alfred Gunda did not respond when asked to through a WhatsApp message.
However, Gunda’s Super League of Malawi counterpart Williams Banda said they would comply with the new measures.
“We will abide by the measures as we do from time to time,” Banda said in a brief response.
Crowd pullers Nyasa Big Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga also welcomed the new measures.
“As Bullets, we will, as usual, adhere to the new measures for the safety of our supporters, officials and players. Football is enjoyable when life is safe and people are in sound health,” Chigoga said.
The global pandemic delayed the kickoff of the football season in the country as the government suspended all sports activities in March last year in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.