The 2021 TNM Super League Blantyre derby between Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets will not have the usual pomp following government’s decision to allow only 250 people at outdoor events.
The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 announced the new measure after easing the initial restrictions which had provision of 50 people per gathering.
Over the week, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) confirmed having asked the Taskforce for a waiver of 1000 people to patronise the derby to be played this Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium.
The two teams also made an effort to write the Taskforce asking for about 10, 000 people to be allowed entry, but Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango told Times Radio on Wednesday that the requests were sent late and therefore the 250 figure still stands.
“The Taskforce meets once in a week. They have already done for this week their next meeting is next week which is too late as the derby is played this weekend. This means for now the figure recommended still stands,” he said.
Wanderers general secretary, Fadweck Matemba said they will oblige to the recommendations by the government, but wished they could have given them a nod since teams depend on gate takings and that they are able to follow the regulations.
“We have already being following the measures and they have decided to maintain the figures, we have no choice, but accept even though we are not happy. We are hoping so soon things will normalize. We just ask our supporters to follow the direction,” he said.
Sulom general secretary, Williams Banda said in this case, they will proceed with the figure and put gate charges at K5000 for covered stand, and K10,000 for VIP stands.
Bullets boast of a seven-year record without losing a league match at Kamuzu Stadium.
The two derbies played in the 2019 season ended in goalless draws in the first and second rounds.