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Cry for mercy

Wanderers vs Bullets

Albert Chigoga

Blantyre giants Mighty Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets have asked for a special waiver to allow additional fans into Kamuzu Stadium when the two sides clash in a TNM Super League derby at the soccer mecca on Saturday.

The development comes after the Presidential Taskforce on Covid eased restrictions on public gatherings by allowing 250 into venues, an upgrade from 50.

Wanderers General Secretary Fadweck Matemba said they would engage the Ministry of Health to ask for a special waiver to enable the teams to generate income.

“For a start, we are starting with this match before considering other matches. We feel we should be treated equally with others, notably politicians who hold rallies. This is a special case and the Ministry of Health as well as the Presidential Taskforce should consider our plight as we need money to settle debts. We cannot continue operating like this,” he said.

Matemba said they were, with other stakeholders, discussing crucial issues including the pricing of the match to control fans.

Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga echoed the sentiments.

“We are still discussing several issues and we hope to come up with a solution soon,” he said.

Both Matemba and Chigoga expressed hope that they would find a solution by tomorrow.

Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda said they were waiting for the game’s organising committee to decide on steps to take ahead of the derby.

“If the committee says that we need a special waiver, that is a plus but, as at now, they are working within the 250 that has been provided by the law. This will be substantiated by people following the match on radios and other media. Bear in mind that we also have radios and television live broadcasting. We are exploring ways, including the option of embracing the idea of advance ticket sales in line with regulations,” he said.

However, Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Charles Mwansambo questioned the move.

“Not a wise idea. Unfortunately, the virus will not be on the negotiating table,” he said.

Last weekend, teams cried foul over gate revenue as security personnel benefitted more than the rest.

On the other hand, security personnel also complained of being overwhelmed by fans who wanted to watch matches.

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