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Weeping for Escom Ground

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Some Blantyre-based singer, whose name, voice and hit are not important to remember, wants handouts amounting to K2 million to cater for his trip to Europe for a music festival that does not mean life and death to anyone in Malawi.

The problem is not the singer but some gullible people, who instead of donating money towards the buying of pesticides for dealing with the merciless fall army worms that have ravaged our maize gardens, are donating to this one-hit wonder.

If that is not funny enough, then hear this. On Wednesday, the nation endorsed an unsustainable project of running our electricity generation on diesel-powered gensets as the answer to the persistent power outages.

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Anyway, as we continue to grope and whistle in darkness, from a sports point of view what hurt the most on the day was the sight of women and cadets stomping on Escom Ground that has now been turned into a bedroom for gensets.

I cannot believe that Escom management ordered caterpillars to uproot goal-posts and dig up the pitch so as to  make the place a comfortable bedroom for non-living things called gensets.

It is one thing allowing Escom United to die a natural death and another going a step further to demolish the graveyard of the team.

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Escom United were part of the country’s domestic football heritage for they groomed players such as Shadreck Mpesi, Elia Kananji, Jack Msosa, Aubrey Nankhuni, Peter Mponda, Chiukepo Msowoya and the late Steve Gwetsa.

Seriously, after allowing Escom United to die, the power utility parastatal sees nothing wrong in demolishing a place that Blantyre communities and some Escom employees used for football games?

We have enough problems in football, and Be Forward Wanderers made matters worse during the week, when, instead of parading the TNM Super League championship trophy in the streets of Blantyre, they presided over confusion on the social media by tinkering on withdrawing from the Caf Champions League.

This was not just an ordinary retreat to Lali Lubani Road but contemplating pulling out from the elite continental club competition due to financial reasons and pay disputes with players.

Wanderers need an equivalent of the money they spend the entire season on just friendly matches and two preliminary round games against AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

All along, Wanderers created an impression that they were financially well-off and ready participate in the competition.

But why did Nomads register for the Champions League when there was no guarantee of money for this assignment?

I do not expect Wanderers to pull out and even if they do, paying a fine of K3.5 million and being banned from the next two editions of the Champions League would mean nothing to a team that last participated in the continental competition 17 years.

By now, the flop-of-a-fundraiser must have raked in enough money to enable Wanderers pay the Caf fine.

But how did Football Association of Malawi allow all this to happen under its watch when it was clear that Wanderers were struggling to pay their own coaches?

Like trying to run a country on gensets and taking out a begging bowl for a meaningless trip to Europe, what is happening at Wanderers is a typical case of a team volunteering so hard to get embarrassed. And the whole country ends up getting embarrassed by its flag carriers.

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