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Super League clubs divided on training

Some TNM Super League clubs have suspended training sessions but others have insisted they will continue with their normal preparations despite coronavirus fears.

Giants Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers say they will continue with preparations ahead of the new season which was postponed over the weekend after President Peter Mutharika declared a state of national disaster.

However, other teams including Blue Eagles, Kamuzu Barracks (KB) and Mighty Tigers have suspended training as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

Eagles chairperson, Alexander Ngwala, said the law enforcers would not take risks.

“Blue Eagles FC has temporarily suspended training to comply with the directive given by football governing bodies, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) due to Covid-19. Players will be called to reassemble as soon as the situation comes to normality,” Ngwala said.

Ngwala called upon all Eagles players, technical panel and supporters to abide by the preventive measures which the Ministry of Health has set to stay safe during the period.

On his part, KB General Secretary, Prince Majiga said there is no training until further notice.

“We have temporarily suspended training considering that it is risky to assemble the players. Although in training we might be around 30 people but football is a game of contact,” he said.

Tigers Technical Director, Robin Alufandika, said with their lean budget, it is difficult to continue with their preparations.

Malawi has not recorded any case of coronavirus but neighbours Zambia and Tanzania have recorded cases.

Silver Chief Executive Officer, Thokozani Chimbali, said the club would continue preparations for the forthcoming season.

“We are following all guidelines during training. We know that life is important and we are very strict in training. The players and technical staff are checked by the doctor before and after training. People are not allowed to watch the training,” Chimbali said.

Silver have two foreign players namely Michael Tetteh (Ghana) and defender Yinus Sherrif (Nigeria). Both players returned from their respective countries last month.

Bullets are also expected to continue their preparations for the season, according to the media desk information.

Wanderers General Secretary, Victor Maunde, said the executive met on Sunday and resolved to continue with their preparations.

“We agreed to proceed with training and our boys are back on the pitch. The only difference is that supporters are not allowed to watch as we don’t want to overcrowd the place. Everyone is aware that the State President has banned gatherings of 100 or more people. Our medical team has also put all the necessary precautionary measures as advised by the Ministry of Health,” he said.

Bullets Chief Administration Officer, Albert Chigoga, also confirmed that the Super League champions will still be training.

“We will not break. We are continuing with our training programme because we don’t want our players to lose concentration. We are aware that one’s health is of paramount importance. We will be following health advice to be safe from coronavirus,” Chigoga said.

The football season was suspended on Friday after Mutharika declared a state of natural disaster and restricted gatherings to less than 100 people.

The Super League was expected to start on Saturday whereas the Fam Charity Shield was slated from April 4 to 5 in Blantyre.

Major football leagues in the world have been suspended due to the coronavirus. Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Laliga, Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 have also been suspended.

The Euro 2020 has been pushed to next year. Caf has also suspended all football activities, including Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers due to the same pandemic.

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