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Fam protocols ready to host fans

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IN TIGHT SPOT—Munthali

As the 2020/21 season is about to kick off, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has finalised Covid-19 protocols to successfully host supporters in stadia.

The government has cleared supporters to watch games while observing Covid-19 precautionary measurers.

Fam Taskforce Chairperson on Covid-19 Chimango Munthali said they already had guidelines to be followed to ensure the safety of all stakeholders.

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“On our side, we are putting all the protocols in place to ensure that we are ready for the fans,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fam is keeping its fingers crossed having applied to Confederation of African Football (Caf) to consider allowing fans to watch the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations return game against Burkina Faso on November 16.

Despite government’s clearance allowing the return of fans to football venues at half capacity with strict precautionary measures, Fam is in tight sport as Caf is yet to give its consent.

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Recently, Caf confirmed banning fans at stadia insisting that games should be played in an empty stadium.

However, Munthali said they had applied to Caf to allow fans when the Flames host the Stallions on November 16.

“We initially indicated to Caf that we are not going to play without fans. So, after the government gave us the go-ahead to have supporters at the games, we are writing Caf to check on the possibility of allowing fans to the stadium,” he said.

Munthali confessed it was a tricky issue.

“It will depend on Caf’s approval. I have just seen a communiqué that is giving guidance on playing without fans. Right now, we are not sure. If not for the Burkina Faso game, we will have fans for the Charity Shield,” he said.

One of the supporters Yona Green Malunga said fans should follow what the authorities instruct.

“If they say we should not watch the games then we should leave it. But if they say we should watch the games, then we should follow all Covid-19 guidelines like keeping social distance, wearing face masks and hand sanitising,” said the former Be Forward Wanderers chief supporter.

Flames will face Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou on Thursday before hosting the Stallions on November 16.

Malawi are third in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with three points from two games whereas Uganda and Burkina Faso are joint leaders with four points each. South Sudan anchor the group.

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