South African football icon Jomo Sono’s team has tumbled down the football ranks from being a top Premier Soccer League (PSL) competitor to an amateur club after getting relegated from the Rainbow Nation’s GladAfrica Championship.
Jomo Cosmos are out of professional football after managing just three wins, 13 draws and 12 losses in 28 matches to amass 22 points.
They finished six points behind 15th-placed TS Sporting, with only two games to go, and found the back of the net 23 times, conceding 33 times to get mathematically relegated.
Cosmos have a special place in local football, having signed the highest number of Malawian players, some of whom went on to play in Europe.
Some of the Malawian stars that Cosmos signed are Meck Mwase, Essau Kanyenda, Mecium Mhone, Russell Mwafulirwa, Peter Mgangira, Jones Nkhwazi, Silliat Maganga, Matthews Phiri, Frank Sinalo, Clifton Msiya, Konex Kalembo and Dave Maleta.
So significant was Sono’s contribution to Malawi football that the government honoured him with an award during an event that took place at Kamuzu Stadium in 2001.
The then sports minister Moses Dossi said by signing many Malawian players, Sono had demonstrated true love for the local game.
Mwase described the latest development as sad.
“This is not a good development. However, we accept it as part of the game,” he said.
Kanyenda described Cosmos as a big brand that deserves to be in the elite league.
“This is bad news to those of us who benefitted from this great team. I called Jomo immediately after hearing about the relegation to understand what happened. This is a team that has produced top players and cannot be an amateur club. I had a lengthy chat with him and he says all is not lost.
“He says he will fight for a return to the championship and eventually return to the PSL. One contributing factor to this relegation is that he has not been active in hunting for players as he used to. In those years, he would get players from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and other countries. This is how some of us found ourselves at his club,” he said.
Kanyenda said he had offered his services to help the legend whenever he needed a hand in his quest to return to professional football.
Sono has since accepted the reality of running an amateur club and insisted that he would not attempt to purchase the status of a fellow team to buy his way back into the GladAfrica Championship.
According to soccerladuma.co.za, Cosmos will compete in the ABC Motsepe league next season with Sono in good spirits despite a disastrous end to the campaign.
“I’m not going to buy someone else’s status. I don’t have a problem with people who do that but I’m not going to do it,” he said.