Chilumba Barracks says it will not allow any of its players to join Karonga United, a team that stopped it from winning the 2017 Northern Region Simama Premier League.
The decision frustrates efforts by the Northern Region Football Association (NRFA), to prepare Karonga United into a more vibrant team, following its recent promotion to the TNM Super League.
The association has organized a bonanza on Saturday and Sunday at Karonga Stadium to allow Karonga United an opportunity to scout and sign new players to strengthen its squad in readiness for the 2018 season.
However, during the bonanza draw for the top four teams in Simama Premier League on Thursday at Katoto Secondary School in Mzuzu, coach for the military outfit, Kelvin Kuyewawa said his team cannot afford to release any player to Karonga United.
“We will take part in this bonanza to help them fine tune their squad and not to weaken our side. We, too, have something to achieve in the coming season, which is just around the corner. Thinking of poaching players from us is a far-fetched dream,” Kuyewawa said.
In contrast to Chilumba Barracks position, Bolero United said it was comfortable with the arrangement.
One of the team’s officials Patrick Nyirenda was, however, quick to point out that it might be too late for Karonga United to be searching for players now.
“I would suggest that they should concentrate on their current squad rather than continue bloating their team with new players who might not be able to jell on time,” Nyirenda said.
NRFA chairperson Felix Msiska underscored the importance of the bonanza saying it was worrisome that NRFA teams get relegated in the same year of their promotion into the Super League.
“We don’t want to see them struggling and get relegated in the same year of their promotion into the league,” Msiska said.
Karonga United, Chilumba Barracks, Bolero United and Rumphi Pirates will battle it out in the bonanza.