Mind-games have started in earnest ahead of Saturday’s Carlsberg Cup semi-final between Be Forward Wanderers and Moyale Barracks.
The defending champions, Wanderers have, in what appears a futile attempt, requested Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) Competitions Sub-Committee to shift the match from Mzuzu Stadium to a neutral venue.
However, Fam has snubbed the Nomads.
In a letter addressed to Fam, Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, on Monday, based their request on the fact that the other semi-final—between Southern Region teams, Nyasa Big Bullets and Red Lions,— will also be played at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
“This levels the playing field and nobody gets an advantage from this arrangement. We are asking the Competitions’ Committee to show the same spirit of fairness by fixing the Moyale versus Wanderers game at Bingu Stadium on 26 August.
“Be Forward Wanderers will play the game on the Saturday in Lilongwe and then proceed to fulfil the league fixture against Mzuni on Sunday. While this is logistically challenging on our part, at least it will give an equal chance for either team to excel in a neutral atmosphere.”
However, Moyale Team Manager, Gerald Kanje, Tuesday said they expect Fam to stick to its decision and not be swayed by Wanderers.
“We do not know why Wanderers are making this request. Maybe, they are just afraid of us. However, we are not afraid of facing Wanderers at any venue. We are just wondering as to why Wanderers are making the request just three days before the game when Fam communicated about the venue last week,” Kanje said.
The committee’s Chairperson, Jabbar Alide, Tuesday described Wanderers’ request as a mere attempt to “create issues’ where there is none.
“All along Wanderers knew “All along Wanderers knew the venue of this fixture. These are the kind of things that incite violence. To arrive at the decision on match venues, we look at the rules and regulations. There is no rule in football that says if you play away you will lose,” Alide said yesterday.
Carlsberg Cup rules and regulations state that “all the games shall be played in match venues that have been approved by the Organising Committee.
Article 8, sub-section one reads: “The time and venue of the matches shall be determined by the Organising Committee as per the draw that will be conducted. The schedule of matches once agreed, shall be final and binding on all parties.”
Wanderers go into this match having defeated Moyale 3-2 in the semi-final of Airtel Top 8 Cup and 5-1 in a TNM Super League encounter last week.
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