Civil Sporting Club have claimed that they were almost caught unawares by Tuesday’s Fisd Challenge Cup preliminary round match against Azam Tigers.
Civil lost the game 5-4 on post-match penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation time at Civo Stadium.
According to the cup’s fixtures, the games involving Super League teams in the competition were supposed to be played between the weekend of October 7 and 8 or October 14 and 15.
Civil Team Manager, Gabriel Chirwa, Wednesday said they were surprised that their game against Tigers was re-scheduled to Tuesday.
He claimed that they had no time to prepare for the match after a goal-less draw against Nyasa Big Bullets in a league match on Saturday at the same venue.
“We learned about the change of the dates through the social media. We only trained on Monday with a small group of players because most of them were off duty. It was not easy for us to mobilise the players at short notice,” Chirwa said.
He added that the loss was water under the bridge and they are focusing on the TNM Super League.
Civil have gone three consecutive games without a win in all competitions, having also drawn 1-1 against Mzuni FC the previous week at Civo Stadium.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Acting Competitions Manager, Casper Jangale, was reluctant to comment on the issue.
“No comment. If they had followed proper procedures, I could have commented,” Jangale said.
The association’s Competitions Committee Vice-Chairperson, Daud Ntanthiko, Wednesday said he was in the dark about Civil’s complaint.
“What I know is that they played against Tigers on Tuesday. If they have grievances, let them write us officially and we will respond accordingly,” Ntanthiko said.
Tigers Chairperson, Sydney Chikoti, yesterday said Fam informed the club about the fixture on Sunday.
“We also complained that it was at short notice but we managed to mobilise resources to honour the fixture. The good thing is that we won the game,” Chikoti said.
Tigers progressed to the next round after converting all their penalties before goalkeeper William Thole saved Patrick Thupi’s decisive spot-kick for Civil.
Be Forward Wanderers are the defending champions of the cup, after defeating Kamuzu Barracks 4-3 on post-match penalties last year.
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