Uncertainty surrounds this year’s season-opener, Ecobank Charity Shield, following the absence of confirmation from the event’s organisers Football Association of Malawi (Fam).
Four participating teams—Nyasa Big Bullets, Silver Strikers, Blue Eagles and Be Forward Wanderers— have been notified through a Super League of Malawi WhatsApp forum that the competition will not be held.
Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga confirmed being notified through a Sulom WhatsApp group and described the development as disturbing having made preparatory plans.
“We were told by Sulom to continue with friendlies this weekend as the Charity Shield will likely not take place. We have not been given a reason for this but it is a setback. We were focusing on concluding our preparations for the season during the Charity Shield,” Chigoga said.
Silver Chief Executive Officer Thokozani Chimbali shared similar sentiments, saying the development would affect their financial status as bookings for accommodation were already done in Blantyre.
“This is not on. All along, we were budgeting for this tournament and we made some bookings knowing that we will participate in a Charity Shield. We are yet to be briefed about this,” he said.
Eagles Chairperson Alexander Ngwala accused the authorities of lacking seriousness.
“We, as Blue Eagles, don’t know what is happening. We were supposed to get confirmation two weeks ago. It is very unfortunate that our football administrators are failing to communicate in this age,” he said.
Fam Communications and Competitions Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the association would issue a statement on the developments regarding the Charity Shield.
“I can’t comment much now,” he said.
Bullets qualified for the Charity Shield by virtue of being TNM Super League champions whereas Silver and Eagles made it after winning the Airtel Top 8 Cup and Fisd Challenge Cup, respectively.
Wanderers joined the trio for finishing runners-up to Bullets.