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Clubs dub first round ‘toughest ever’

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Some Super League clubs say they have learnt the hard way, playing the better part of the first round without spectators.

Government is yet to increase number of spectators from 250 for outdoor events as one way of controlling the spread of coronavirus.

However, random interviews with some top flight teams indicated it was business unusual playing football without fans.

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Civil Service United General Secretary Ronald Chiwaula said football without fans was boring.

“We have to accept the situation on the ground. But football is not the same without fans. Even play of the teams was not good. The fans motivate the players to do more,” Chiwaula said.

Similarly, Be Forward Wanderers General Secretary Fadweck Matemba described the first round as the toughest ever.

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“On our part, we struggled due to lack of funds but bravo to the players for their hard working spirit on the pitch. The Covid worsened our situation so it was not easy playing football without spectators,” Matemba said.

Chairperson for Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Special Taskforce on Covid Chimango Munthali said it was a tough experience.

“It was successful that football was played. But it was hard taking that football is enjoyed in the presence of fans. In the absence of fans, football loses its value. But the stakeholders should be commended for adhering to Covid protocols,” Munthali said.

According to a fixture which Super League of Malawi (Sulom) released, the second round of the TNM Super League is expected to kick off this weekend.

The Presidential Taskforce on Covid recently said plans to ease restrictions on spectators at football matches has been delayed as medical experts are still assessing the situation on the ground.

Despite the restrictions, it has been business as usual for some sectors. Thousands of people have been attending political gatherings and markets.

The Nomads are without a sponsor after Japanese car dealers Be Forward Limited did not renew the contract in December last year.

Apart from Wanderers, some clubs including Mighty Tigers, Karonga United, Chitipa, TN Stars, Mzuzu Warriors and Ekwendeni Hammers do not have stable sources of income.

Some of the teams have gone months without paying their players and staff.

The absence of fans means clubs lost gate revenue. Gate revenue supplements budgets for the teams.

Silver Strikers lead the 16-member log table with 35 points, followed by Bullets on 29 points. Civil remain third with 25 points.

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