The crunching TNM Super League first round Blantyre derby between Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers will be played without spectators on January 2 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
This will be the first time for the country’s most popular derby to be played behind closed doors.
The development follows the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19’s announcement that gatherings of over 100 people had been banned for the next two weeks.
The announcement, made on Tuesday, means the ban would be lifted on January 4, two days after the derby.
In a press statement released on Wednesday, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) maintained that all games would be played as arranged.
Sulom stated that the matches would continue with strict adherence to Covid-19 prevention measures.
There were fears that Sulom would cancel the weekend matches following the reinstatement of restrictions on public gatherings.
“Kindly be informed that games shall now be played without spectators for the next two weeks as directed by the taskforce on Covid-19. Sulom therefore wishes to remind clubs and match officials to mask up, wash hands, sanitise and [observe] social distance. We further wish to advise that safety and security for match venues should be enhanced,” the statement reads.
The statement further says Sulom will make an effort to ensure that fans follow match proceedings while at home.
“It will be a misconduct to find supporters around stadium premises and law enforcers are advised to arrest all those found loitering within stadium premises without due responsibility.”
Bullets Supporters Director Stone Mwamadi said he has advised the team’s supporters to comply with Sulom’s instructions.
Mwamadi said, during their match against Moyale tomorrow at Kamuzu Stadium, they will ensure that fans do not come close to the stadium’s premises.
“Of course, stopping fans from coming to the stadium will not be an easy task, but we are doing everything possible to spread the message. Bullets fans are ready to comply with all instructions,” Mwamadi said.
Meanwhile, league leaders Red Lions arrived in Karonga on Wednesday ahead of tomorrow’s match against Karonga United at Karonga Stadium.
Lions Coach Mike Kumanga said they are aiming to maintaining their winning form.
“We left Zomba on Tuesday just to make sure that we were set for the game. Karonga is tough at home and this will be our first time to play here. Our training is going on well and we are hopeful that we will have a good game,” Kumanga said.