Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu Manda has asked the soccer fraternity to exercise patience amid talks with the government on football return.
There are fears that football will not return next month as Fam’s proposal to the government faces hitches due to rise in Covid-19 cases.
Nyamilandu, speaking at the Mpira Village Tuesday, said the new government must be given time to put things in place for safe return of the game. He said it was wrong to push the government to make hasty decisions.
“We are dealing with a pandemic that has hit the country as lives are being lost. As Fam we are still working behind the scenes putting things in place. We are aware that teams are also eager to play football. But this is a natural disaster we cannot control it. Let us all wait up until the government gives us consent,” he said.
Nyamilandu, who is also a Fifa Council Member, hinted at the prospect of losing the season.
“The season could be lost yes but as Fam we will try to be flexible if the communication comes later next month. We will still need two months of teams training and friendly games so let’s just be patient,” he said.
The development comes after Super League of Malawi (Sulom) completed three days of consultative meetings with teams where it transpired that clubs want football return.
Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda said they will submit final report to Fam executive committee for perusal.
“We will recommend to Fam to consider starting the season without fans and that Fam must meet costs incurred by teams. In the meantime we will explore other income generating activities including maximising broadcasting rights,” Banda said.
Meanwhile, some Super League clubs have made it clear that Fam should fund their travel expenses and other costs if they decide to resume football without supporters.
Be Forward Wanderers General Secretary Victor Maunde said allowing football return was the right thing to do.
“We believe they will adopt the football return proposal as discussed with Sulom. Fam should at least pay for the teams expenses as we have suffered a lot during this Covid-19 pandemic,” Maunde said.
Government suspended football in the country on March 20, a day before the 2020 season started.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.