The moment all Chitipa United fans were dreading but expecting finally arrived on Saturday.
Rock bottom Chitipa United have been relegated from the top-flight football without even kicking the ball.
They were given a short stay of execution when Red Lions beat relegation rivals Premier Bet Wizards at Mpira Village on Saturday afternoon.
Wizards’ defeat means the Northern Region based side has a maximum points of 25, not good enough to save them from the jaws of relegation with three games to play.
Stuck on 16 points, it is no longer mathematically possible for them to overhaul two other teams during the final games to climb to the safety of 13th place.
Their remaining games are dead rubbers for Chitipa United, in truth, their survival hopes have been dead and buried for some time.
Now the battle for survival will be between Masters Security, Dwangwa United, Red Lions, Wizards and Blantyre United.
Meanwhile, Southern Region is at risk of losing two teams to the lower division.
This follows defeats to Wizards and Blantyre United to Red Lions and Blue Eagles respectively.
For the two sides to keep their hopes alive, they must win all their remaining games and at the same time, hoping for defeats to fellow relegation rivals.