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New twist to kickoff

Bullets and Silver Strikers

Williams Banda

The 2022-23 football season will officially kick off on March 5 with the Charity Shield before the start of the TNM Super League a week later, Times Sport can reveal.

This follows Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions Committee meeting held in Blantyre on Saturday.

Initially, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) had announced that the league was supposed to kick off on February 26.

This could be a relief to some Super League teams, including Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers, who had complained about the timing of the kickoff.

Fam Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka confirmed the development but did not divulge details.

“Indeed, the committee met but a statement will be released,” Zakazaka said.

Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda also confirmed the development, saying Fam made the change due to Club Licencing issues.

Teams had complained that there was no ample time for off-season break after the football season was officially closed on December 18.

In addition, some of the players were at Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.

On his part, Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga welcomed the news.

“We have been communicated to about the new dates. Our preparations are on track,” said Chigoga, whose club won their third straight TNM Super League title with 62 points, four points above runners-up Silver Strikers.

Civil Service United General Secretary Ronald Chiwaula was happy with the new dates.

“It is a welcome development and this will give us ample time to finalise some of the issues,” Chiwaula said.

In preparation for the new season, teams are busy with friendlies. Super League teams will be hoping to have a good season, having endured a weird, winding and long season in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic and restrictions.

For the better part of the season, football was played behind closed doors. The teams lost gate revenue last season.

In addition, there were some stoppages following a surge in Covid cases.

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