By Mphatso Malidadi & Peter Fote:
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has been forced to revert to an old system after some TNM Super League sides complained that they cannot afford to play only one away match in a weekend.
Prior to the start of the 2022 Super League season, Sulom insisted that teams would be required to play a match every weekend, according to the rules and regulations and also professional standards.
However, Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda said some teams complained that they were operating on a tight budget and playing one game per weekend would result in them draining their resources.
“We came with this idea to fix one game for each team every weekend to overcome issues whereby some teams appeared to have played more games. This leads to match fixing speculation. However, we changed the stance as some teams stated that they could not manage due to financial constraints,” he said.
Banda said lack of certified grounds was also affecting them.
“Infrastructure is another issue which also we should fix,” he said. determines how many games
This week, TNM Super League debutants Rumphi United and the financially struggling TN Stars have been given two away games.
TN Stars are away to Mighty Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday before facing Super League newcomers Sable Farming on Sunday.
On the other hand, Rumphi will play Silver Strikers on Saturday at Silver Stadium and then date Blue Eagles at Nankhaka the following day.
Meanwhile, Sulom Vice General Secretary Major Flao Mwale, in an interview yesterday, confirmed that some teams penned the body against one-game rule.
“TN Stars requested to play two games over this weekend in Blantyre. Even though it is not healthy for the players, we have taken into account the request our partners made,” he said.
TN Stars Media Officer Bester Ngwale confirmed having written Sulom on the matter.
“We are hit by financial problems. It is costly on our part to play one away game in a weekend. We want to save. We know it is not health, for our players but we have little options on the matter,” he said.
On his part, Rumphi United Chairperson Chiza Mkandawire said they were surprised to have been given two games, arguing they did not ask Sulom for the change.
“Our committee will meet to see how best to handle this. We will also take recommendations from the head coach in terms of whether he is comfortable playing two games or not.
“As for me, being a youthful team which is new in the league, it is not ideal, especially when we consider the fact that we already lost our opening game against Dedza Dynamos. Losing again this weekend will kill off our morale,” he said.
Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets have been excused from games this week, having contributed five players to the Malawi Under-23 National Football Team which left for Turkey Monday.