Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu says football players in the country are struggling financially due to Government’s reluctance to allow the resumption of the game almost six weeks since the game was suspended.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) had suspended the games for three weeks to assess the situation but teams failed to return to the field of play after the three weeks as Government had gazetted new Covid-19 laws in order to prevent further spreading of the virus.
The newly gazetted laws limited any public gathering to just 50 people, a development that forced Sulom to fail to resume the game. Football authorities pleaded with the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 to at least allow football to be played with a gathering of more than 50 people.
However, for weeks, the Taskforce hasn’t said anything, prompting players and football fans to organize demonstrations. Players argue that the committee is mum on the resumption of the game even though politicians are conducting political rallies and business is as usual in drinking joints, religious gatherings and business places.
Now, upon arrival at Chileka International Airport from Morocco on Monday, Nyamilandu said it was disheartening to see everything going back to normal apart from football, a development which has seen his players suffering.
“Very important, I have an agenda where I have lost, we have to raise the bar, that’s the promise I made to Malawians when I was put into the office. One of the issues is to see Malawi qualify for next year’s Afcon finals in Cameroon and the World Cup.
“But most importantly, the game of football must restart in Malawi. There is no need why we should not restart. We know there is Covid-19 but other industries are living safely and making a livelihood amidst the pandemic and there is no reason why football should not co-exist with other industries. We are ready to restart football and play the game in a safe environment where nobody will be compromised and under highly regulated conditions.
“We will be speaking to Malawi Government to reconsider their position because our players are suffering, the fans are not getting the same entertainment, the indu0stry is struggling so we have a bigger job to do. I want all of us to focus our energies on making the football industry bounce back as opposed to infighting and negative sentiments,” he said.
Meanwhile, reports reaching Malawi24 indicate that Government will give nod to football resumption on Wednesday.
According to the Presidential Taskforce Co-Chairperson who is also the Health Minister, Khumbize Chiponda Kandodo, the committee will give nod to football resumption after a successful meeting with the Sports Ministry.