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Silver Strikers abandon Caf tourney plans

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Casper Jangale

Silver Strikers have disclosed that they have no plans to participate in the 2022 Caf Confederations Cup due to unspecified reasons.

The Central Bankers are eligible for the Confederations Cup by virtue of being FDH Bank Cup champions whereas Nyasa Big Bullets qualify for the Caf Champions League, having won the TNM Super League.

However, Silver Chief Executive Officer, Thokozani Chimbali, confirmed that they will not take part in the second-tier continental showpiece.

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“The board of directors made resolutions that the club should not take part in the competition. But for now, I will not be able to disclose the actual reasons,” Chimbali said.

Silver, who are bankrolled by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), registered for the 2021 Confederations Cup but withdrew just six days before the draw of the competition.

They pulled out of the competition after coach Daniel Kabwe fell short of Caf A minimum requirements.

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Caf introduced tough rules for the competition that only coaches with Caf A coaching badges will be allowed to lead teams.

But Kabwe has Uefa coaching badge.

For withdrawing from the competition after engagement, Silver were fined $3000 (about K2.4 million).

Registration for the 2022 competition is expected to start in July as the 2021 edition enters group stage next week.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Compliance Manager Casper Jangale said there is no need to panic for the local teams.

The withdrawal of Silver means the Confederation Cup slot will be given to other local interested teams.

However, Blue Eagles, who expressed interest to take part in the competition last year, are not ready to replace Silver.

Eagles Chairperson Alexander Ngwala said they were not ready to take Silver’s place.

“The competition demands a lot so we need proper planning. Honestly, we are not ready,” Ngwala said.

Cash-strapped Mighty Wanderers, who participated in the 2017 Caf Champions League, might not be interested.

The development means for the second consecutive year, Bullets will be the only local team in the Caf competitions.

Former Flames defender Moses Chavula said Caf competitions offer players a good platform for exposure.

“For us to do well, we need more teams to play in Caf Champions League and Confederations. Of course, lack of resources is a big challenge,” Chavula said.

Silver last took part in the Confederation Cup in 2018 but were eliminated in the preliminary round after 4-3 loss to ASC of Gabon on post-match penalties after a 1-1 scoreline on aggregate.

Last year, Bullets exited the Caf Champions League after a 3-2 loss on aggregate to Amazulu.

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