Sports Minister says football remains suspended


Minister of Sports Francis Phiso has rebuffed calls by some section of football fans in the country to have the game played in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, saying they shouldn’t just follow what the politicians are doing.

In the wake of the virus, Malawi leader Peter Mutharika imposed a ban on public gatherings as one of the many ways to contain the virus which is currently causing havoc in the world.

This resulted into the closure of schools, suspension of all sporting events and limitations to religious gatherings.

However, Malawians were surprised to see political parties holding rallies in which thousands of supporters were in attendance.

This has triggered  from Malawians, who, among other issues, are demanding for the removal of the restrictions, saying it is not fair for politicians to be living a normal life when other Malawians are observing social distancing rules in order to avoid contracting the virus.

However, Phiso says the decision to have all the sporting events suspended was done as one way of protecting the lives of the citizens.

“We were advised by the Ministry of Health to suspend all the sporting activities in the country as one way of protecting our players and Malawians at large. It wasn’t a decision to punish people but to prevent the virus from spreading further. If you talk about politicians, they sought an injunction from the court to continue campaigning against government’s decision to have everything suspended so we are urging Malawians to take it easy on us as we continue the war against the pandemic,” he was quoted by MIJ Radio.

Ministry of Health’ spokesperson Joshua Malango also echoed Phiso’s words, saying football venues in the country have no enough space to observe social distancing measures.

“Our Stadiums have no enough space for social distancing measures and you all know what happens when a team scores during a match. As such, our ministry is advising people to refrain from public of more than 100 people and they should continue observing social distance measures to avoid contracting the virus,” he said.

With the campaign period in session, political parties are showing no signs of slowing down as the number of cases continues to rise in Malawi.

Currently, Malawi has registered 71 cases with 3 deaths.