Super League of Malawi (Sulom) Vice General Secretary Zechariah Nyirenda has accused government officials of double standards in the way they have handled football fan’s request to resume Super League matches after a six week break due to Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Nyirenda, the decision to further delay the resumption of the game in Malawi has just vindicated how selfish politicians are as they are busy conducting political rallies yet football administrators have been told not to resume football until the positivity rate reaches 5%.
Speaking in an interview with one of the local radio stations on Wednesday, the outspoken Vice General Secretary said it is surprising to see politicians launching by-elections campaign using football teams yet elite league continue to suffer in the name of restrictions that were put in place by President Lazarus Chakwera earlier this year.
“We have tried our level best but there is no response from the officials. May be we need to use force for them to respond to our request.
.0″We have more questions than answers now. Schools re-opened but they cannot allow us to resume our games yet it’s safer at our stadiums than at schools. We have been told not to resume games yet people are busy playing social games. We have seen aspiring Member of Parliament in the forthcoming by-elections launching their political campaigns using the very same football which we have been told not to resume.
“This is just a vindication that politicians are selfish people. They don’t care about us but they only care about themselves. There is no justification to stop us from resuming our games yet they were busy campaigning prior to the June Presidential Elections. What crime have we committed? If they are targeting someone, they should just come out in the open to tell us rather than punishing us for someone’s sins,” he said.
However, Ministry of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has advised football fans to exercise patience as sports will only resume when the positivity rate reaches to 5%.
According to Chiponda, the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 is still assessing the situation before allowing sports to resume in the country.
“We are aware how the sports industry has suffered but we haven’t forsaken them.
“We are in receipt of FAM’s proposed guidelines and on Monday, we met officials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to discuss the same.
“But for now, let them bear with us. We want to analyse the situation up to next Tuesday then we will review the guidelines if the positivity rate drops to five percent or less then sports can resume and considering the slump in cases, we are hopeful.
“We are hopeful. We just need to have a proper direction.” she was quoted in the Nation Newspaper on Thursday.
The 2020/2021 season was delayed for eight months after government declared state of national disaster in March last year.
In October last year, government removed some restrictions and allowed sports to resume only for Sulom to suspend the league in January this year due to surge in Covid-19 cases.
Meanwhile, Football Players Association (FPA) are planning to demonstrate against the Taskforce’s decision to keep on delaying them from resuming football. The players say they will only back down after receiving official communication from FAM and Sulom.