Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has declined Masters Security FC’s request to host Uganda’s Proline FC at Civo Stadium instead of Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe on Saturday.
Fam’s decision is a fresh blow to Masters who are struggling financially, with players complaining that they are yet to get paid.
Fam Competitions and Media Director, Gomezgani Zakazaka, Wednesday said it was too late to shift the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Cup preliminary round, second leg match game from Civo.
“Civo is not a Caf-certified venue; only Kamuzu Stadium and BNS are. When Caf inspectors came to Malawi for inspection, they only approved the two venues and this was entered in Caf’s system, which cannot be changed now,” Zakazaka said.
Playing matches at BNS costs teams more in venue charges than at other venues. Gate charges are also higher at BNS, thereby compromising patronage.
Masters Security General Secretary, Christopher Njeula, Wednesday confirmed that Fam informed them about the decision on Tuesday evening.
“We wanted to play at Civo because it has natural grass and we have played a number of games there. We are far much used to that venue than BNS. However, the difference is minimal. We will still play at BNS,” Njeula said.
Masters, who lost 3-0 to Proline in Kampala in the first leg a fortnight ago, have meanwhile pegged the game at K1,000, K5,000, and K7,000 for open terraces, VIP and Corporate Box, respectively.
Proline FC have, meanwhile, appointed Matia Lule as their coach to replace Shafiq Bisaso, who has left for Sweden to pursue further studies.
Proline Chief Executive Officer, William Bakkabulindi, unveiled Lule, a former Uganda’s Cranes assistant coach and under-20 mentor, to the club’s players on Monday.
“Change is a fact of life and we have seen this everywhere world over in the football fraternity; so, let’s embrace it with happiness,” Bakkabulindi is quote as saying.
Taking his turn, Lule said: “Football is a team game that needs togetherness so I urge you to be one, work hard and take the team to the next level.”
Proline have been boosted after Uganda football association contributed an equivalent of K2 million towards the team’s trip to Lilongwe.
“On another note, we would like to appreciate the honorary Fufa President Dr Lawrence Mulindwa for the timely financial support of 10,000UgShs (10 million Uganda Shillings) towards the preparations of our return leg fixture,” Bakkabulindi says in a press statement.
Peter Kanjere is a versatile Journalist currently working for Times Group as Assistant Editor for The Daily Times.
With vast experience in the industry, he is also an accomplished Sports Analyst, whose exploits in sports reporting and analysis span beyond the length and breadth of the African continent.