The first silverware of the 2016 Malawi soccer season will be decided on Saturday afternoon as Nyasa Big Bullets will take on Mighty Be Forward Wanderers in the Chifundo Shield Cup final at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
With derbies often tense and tight affairs, the performances of Bullets’ Dalitso Sailesi and Chiukepo Msowoya as well as Nomads’ Rafique Mussa and Jimmy Zakazaka could go a long way to deciding the winner.
The Nomads will have an excellent chance of lifting the Chifundo Shield Cup on Saturday if Zakazaka and Peter Wadabwa can break their ducks.
In the red corner, Franco Ndawa will be hoping that a fit and firing Chiukepo Msowoya can lead Bullets to their first trophy at the expense of Wanderers in years.
The last time the two teams played each other at Civo Stadium was in 2015 in a Carlsberg Cup final in which Wanderers won 2-1 to lift the Carlsberg Cup glory.
Speaking to the media ahead of the showdown, representatives from both teams promised fireworks in Lilongwe but were quick to urge their supporters to patronize the event in order to donate blood and save people’s lives.
“We are urging all Nomads fans to go and donate blood in the areas where Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) will be operating prior to the match.
“On preparations, we are ready for the showdown and it’s a privilege to play Big Bullets before the new season kicks off because it will give us a clear picture of how we have prepared for the new season,” said Wanderers Team Manager Steve Madeira.
On his part, Bullets team manager Rahim Ishmael pleaded with supporters from both teams to maintain peace during the match day because the day is meant to save lives for those in need of blood.
“We are urging all the supporters from both teams to maintain peace on the match day because we are all aiming to save lives through donating blood to the needy.
“Our executive committee will be the first to donate blood and the players will donate blood after the match.
“It’s very important for us to be part and parcel of this important event,” he said.
Speaking to the media ahead of the Nomads, Bullets clash, MBTS public relations officer Allen Kaombe hailed the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) for partnering them in such an important event.
“This is the first time for MBTS to partner a big association like FAM. This partnership will help us reach out to many people who are in need of blood in the country.
“On Saturday (Today), MBTS will be at Civo Stadium from 8 AM-12 Noon where thousands of football lovers and well-wishers will be urged to donate blood before watching the match.
“We are also urging both teams to mobilize their supporters to come out in their large numbers to donate blood,” he said.
Gate revenues collected on the day will be donated to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where the money will be used to buy trolleys.