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TNM Super League return in limbo

Blantyre Derby

Jomo Osman

The return of 2020/21 TNM Super League season hangs in the balance as the authorities are yet to implement some of the safety protocols including testing of all players and officials before the league resumes.

Sulom suspended the league on Tuesday last week in compliance with Presidential Taskforce on Covid guidelines restricting public gatherings to 50 people from 100.

The league’s vice general secretary Zachariah Nyirenda said the return of the league hinges on the taskforce’s recommendations as there were several factors that needed to be considered before conducting Covid tests.

“In other words, if the taskforce extends the ban for two or more weeks, it will also affect the league’s return. Firstly, we need to know when the latest restrictions will be eased to facilitate league return.

“If we test all the players now and then the committee decides to extend the ban, it will mean that we are back to square one because we might need to start again. Do we have all those resources to test players three times or twice in a space of six weeks? Is it necessary? Should we wait until we have indicators from Presidential Taskforce on Covid on the resumption of the game? So there are several factors that

need to be considered. It is not just the issue of testing players,” he said.

Nyirenda pleaded with the football fraternity to exercise patience as all stakeholders needed to follow guidelines.

“Clubs are ready, the Ministry of Health has been positive and we have that assurance to do the test when we are ready. People should not be worried we are on it, we know the essences of timing, we know the essences of testing and this will be done,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ntopwa FC owner and Technical Director Isaac Jomo Osman said Sulom should have convinced the taskforce to continue with the games.

“Let us be honest. This season’s patronage has been poor. As clubs we demonstrated our ability to follow the guidelines. When the Presidential Taskforce restricted public gathering to 100, we were able to follow the guidelines. Such would have been the case now,” he said.

Sulom announced a three-week break on January 19 barely two days after State President Lazarus Chakwera declared a State of National Disaster following rising Covid cases.

The three-week recess is expected to end on February 7.

Silver Strikers are leading the log table with 19 points.

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