COVID-19: Fans set May end for football return

Football fans

Double standards played by politicians on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country have forced football fans to seriously call for the return of the TNM Super League by the end of May this year.

The league was supposed to kick-off in April but was postponed as one of the measures in preventing the virus.

On Wednesday, leaders of the concerned football supporters, led by Nyasa Big Bullets supporters' committee general secretary, Mavuto Chibambo and his Be Forward Wanderers counterpart, Sam Mponda had an audience with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu to present their grievances.

Chibambo said FAM should help them relay message to the relevant authorities that teams have been greatly affected by the restrictions due to the virus and it is disappointing to see that those who are supposed to enforce the measures are at the forefront defying them.

He said they have assessed the risk that might occur when football returns are lower than those from the huge crowds in political rallies.

"We suggest to start football games by 30th May, 2020. Failing which we will not hold our patience any more but causing havoc by marching and have vigil at FAM and National Sports Council offices.

"Let's not treat other sectors differently in the same country. Politicians are not special people for them to just dictate things and then to be the first people also to ignore the same measures they put by themselves. For example Honourable Jappie Mhango who is cabinet minister is hosting a bonanza in his constituency in Rumphi yet the same minister is the one who announced the lockdown in this country," reads the letter.

Chibambo presenting reading out the letter- photos by Benjamin Maona

In his response, Nyamilandu said he will deliver the message as asked, but said FAM already put in place plans to kick-off the season by September if the situation calms down.

"We understand the teams and all concerned parties, but there have to be process to everything. We cannot just wake up today and start playing. Therefore you should exercise patience," he said.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Francis Phiso insisted this week that they will wait for Ministry of Health to give them directions on the resumption of games.