Footballers turn to streets
Local footballers have threatened to take to the streets after growing frustrated with the suspension of the TNM Super League due to coronavirus restrictions.
Football Players Association General Secretary Ernest Mangani said some footballers that were affiliated with the body believe their career was under threat due to idleness.
“We are aware that Covid is real and is claiming lives. However, we feel football can still be played using the same guidelines which Ministry of Health and Presidential Taskforce on Covid set.
“Our members are ready to comply with all precautionary measures like washing hands, wearing face masks and observing social distance as it was the case before. So our members believe taking to the street will help them voice out their concerns as they consider their career to be under threat,” said Mangani, whose body has a membership of 403 players.
Presidential Taskforce on Covid Co-chairperson Dr John Phuka advised FPA to follow procedures in raising grievances.
“We cannot stop people from expressing their right but I am of the view that Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) are better institutions to deal with their case for now. The two institutions can develop a roadmap to deal with this situation and we can assist them from there,” he said.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina faulted FPA’s move, describing it as a hasty decision.
“I bear with the players especially on their daily welfare. I think the players should have engaged Fam or Sulom unlike holding demonstrations,” he said.
The former Fam acting general secretary cited countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania where football has continued in the midst of coronavirus cases.
Three weeks ago, Sulom suspended the 2020/21 season due to new restrictions which the Presidential Taskforce set restricting public gatherings to 50 people from 100.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.