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Big Bullets could play in empty stadium

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Casper Jangale

Chances of Malawians watching the Caf Champions League return leg between Nyasa Big Bullets and South African side AmaZulu are very minimal as Confederation of African Football (Caf) has not yet given Bullets the go-ahead.

Bullets, through Football Association of Malawi (Fam), wrote Caf a fortnight ago to allow their fans to patronise tomorrow’s match at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe.

Fam Club Licencing and Compliance Manager Casper Jangale said there has been no response from Caf on the request.

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Jangale said Bullets should just accept that their supporters will not watch the match.

“Bullets indeed wrote Caf requesting that their fans be allowed to patronise the match but the reality is that Caf is not allowing fans to watch matches. We are yet to receive official communication on the matter but we are in doubt.

“It is time to accept that supporters will not be allowed to watch Caf matches. We just have to go by the restriction of 250 people attending a match,” Jangale said.

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Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga said they had wanted to sell match tickets in advance.

“Our plan was to sell match tickets in the course of the week but things are not looking good. We might as well just give up. We asked for Caf’s permission to allow fans into the match but, in the absence of a response, we cannot do anything,” Chigoga said.

Bullets Director of Supporters Stone Mwamadi said fans would go by what authorities will say on the matter.

Football analyst George Kaudza-Masina said Bullets’ request was justifiable but not acceptable.

Kaudza-Masina indicated that, considering that football hinges on fair play, it would be only fair for the return match to be played in an empty stadium as was the case during the first leg at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa.

“Supporters do play a crucial role for the home team to win and allowing supporters into the stadium will give an unfair advantage to the People’s Team. As such, it is not surprising that Caf is silent on the request. Bullets should just take things positively and concentrate on the match,” he said.

The former Fam acting general secretary said if Bullets managed to beat Amazulu 1-0 in South Africa, they could repeat the feat at BNS.

“Banking too much on the request may just end up affecting their preparations. If Caf changes its mind, which is the wish of every supporter, things will be better for Bullets’ morale and finances. Otherwise let’s just accept the harsh reality that supporters won’t be available,” Masina said.

The winner between Bullets and AmaZulu will face Democratic Republic of Congo side TP Mazembe next month.

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