COVID-19: Flames victory parade put on hold

Malawi Flames

Malawi national football team fans will have to wait to celebrate with their team after Monday's victory, as the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has put on hold the victory parade due to COVID-19 concerns.

FAM organised the victory parade around Blantyre City on Tuesday to give the fans a chance to celebrate with the team after beating Uganda 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium on Monday to qualify for the third Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Fans were not allowed into the Stadium to watch the match, but some of them assembled outside singing as part of giving their support to the Flames.

FAM general secretary, Alfred Gunda said they have been advised by City Council officials against conducting the parade considering the COVID-19 pandemic which needs proper planning.

“When we had made our application to the Council as the owners of the City, we had been given an advice that we needed to plan the implementation of the parade. We will sit down to discuss on how we can execute the parade in a health and safe manner. In the hit of the moment when you are happy, some of these things are forgotten.

“We also want to come up with plan on how we can celebrate with every Malawian and not just people from the Southern Region. The planning continues and we will continue consulting to ensure the safety of Malawians and our players,” he said.

Reacting to the news, one anonymous Chirimba-based supporter, who plies his trade as a mechanic faulted the Council saying the parade would have been conducted in a safe environment as compared to the political rallies taking place in the country.

“It is not as if the team will be conducting rallies. They will be moving from one location to the other, and people will converge, yes, to offer support but not like how they do at political rallies. There is just something with football. Why does it have to be football always being restricted for COVID-19?” he said.

Victory celebrations have turned out to be a tradition when teams win and make great achievements.