Illovo Sugar Company has closed Chitowe ground in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota District to sports activities due to Covid-19.
The development will be a big blow to TNM Super League outfit Mafco FC, who use the ground for home matches.
Illovo spokesperson Olive Kawerama confirmed the development, saying the decision had been arrived at due to the upsurge of Covid-19 cases at Dwangwa Estate.
“It is true that the stadium has been closed after appropriate consultations with Super League of Malawi and our medical team in view of the rapidly rising Covid-19 infections in the country.
“We have had to consider the wellbeing of our employees, their dependents as well members of the community surrounding our Dwangwa Estate. We have had to make this decision after we found seven positive cases within the past week which included some of our employees and their dependents,” Kawelama said
Mafco coach Temwa Msuku lamented that the closure of the stadium will affect their current impressive performance.
“Chitowe is our home and our players got used playing there. We are likely going to be affected by the closure because we will have to play our games elsewhere. However we will try to plea with our superiors to consider talking to Illovo management so that we can be playing at the stadium behind closed doors,” Msuku said.
Mafco last week suffered a first home defeat after losing 3-0 to Silver Strikers to eventually be displaced from top to fourth position on the log table.
Meanwhile Super League of Malawi yesterday announced that Super League games for this weekend will be played under closed sessions of not more than a 100 people gathering.
The statement further assured stakeholders that safety and security at match venues will be enhanced.
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.