Nyasa Big Bullets has expressed intent to withdraw its participation in the 2020/2021 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League barely some weeks before kick-off.
The people’s team qualified to play in the Continental competition alongside Blue Eagles FC in the CAF Confederations Cup, but the latter already pulled out.
According to Bullets Chief Administrative Officer, Albert Chigoga, the team’s decision is due to delayed approval by authorities for early training preparations since Government suspended sports activities in the country due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Chigoga said in an interview that they wrote Football Association of Malawi (FAM) asking for permission to hit the ground earlier, but they have not been responded to despite persistent follow ups.
Government set October 17 as the day teams should restart training, which is late for Bullets in their quest for CAF participation.
“Hoping that we would be given the permission to start early preparations, we embarked on steps to prepare our team by testing for Covid-19 as well as conducting fitness test with our players, besides processing for Club Licensing for the CAF registration.
"Considering how competitive CAF Champions League is, coupled with our desire to compete and not to participate for the sake of it, we feel that failure to start early preparations put us at a disadvantage to represent our country as serious contenders, hence our decision to consider withdrawing from this year’s campaign,” Chigoga said.
Bullets emerged champions of the TNM Super League back home last year, but was booted out of CAF Champions League in the preliminary round by Zimbabwe’s Platinum FC.
They held Platinum to a goalless draw at home before going down 3-2 in Zimbabwe.
In 2018, the red side also exited the competition in the same round to Kenya’s Gor Mahia.
Gor Mahia progressed on goal-advantage as they both scored once against each other in their home encounters.