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Blantyre derby ‘postponed’

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Albert Chigoga

The Blantyre derby involving Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers, which was scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed after the two teams contributed more players to the Flames.

Both Bullets and Wanderers have contributed more than four players to the final Cosafa Cup squad which is expected to fly out on Sunday.

Inside sources confided in us that Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has written informing them that the national team players will not be released due to Covid camp protocols.

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In the final Cosafa squad, Bullets have contributed eight players whereas Wanderers have four players, which means two teams are automatically exempted from the domestic fixtures.

However, the final squad is expected to undergo another Covid test on Friday ahead of the team’s departure on Sunday.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda said they were hoping to reach a consensus with Sulom over the matter.

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“Our arrival day in South Africa is Sunday. In line with protocols, players are also expected to stay in a Bio Bubble after the tests before proceeding with the travel. We are currently discussing with Sulom on the same for requisite adjustments to be made accordingly,” Gunda said.

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) President Tiya Somba-Banda said all teams that will contribute four players will be exempted.

“The rules and regulations are clear on teams that contribute more players to national teams. Secondly, due to Covid protocols, it means the national team players cannot be released,” Somba-Banda said.

Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga said preparations would continue until they get official notice.

“We are still waiting for communication from Sulom so that we inform the technical panel,” Chigoga said.

Wanderers Chairperson Chancy Gondwe confirmed having been contacted by the authorities on the possible game cancellation.

“I was told we might not play this weekend,” he said.

Malawi are in group B alongside Zambia, Comoros and Madagascar.

Meanwhile, the Lilongwe derby is also in serious doubt due to Flames commitments and Covid cases.

Silver have contributed six players to the provisional squad but some have been found coronavirus positive, which rule them out of the Cosafa Cup.

Bullets lead the log table with 45 points from 21 matches, at par with Silver, who have an inferior goal difference.

Wanderers are third with 37 points from 21 matches.

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