The Super League of Malawi (SULOM) has directed Nyasa Big Bullets to play their TNM Super League match against Silver Strikers on Saturday, 31st before they travel to Tanzania for this year’s CECAFA Kagame Cup.
Bullets were invited as guests and confirmed their participation in the CECAFA Kagame Cup 2021 to be staged from 1st to 15th August.
According to Kagame Cup organizers, the draw for the competition will be conducted on July 27th.
Teams confirmed for Kagame Cup 2021 are Young Africans SC, Azam FC (Tanzania), Altabara FC (South Sudan), Le Messager Ngozi FC (Burundi), APR (Rwanda), Express FC, KCCA FC (Uganda), Tusker FC (Kenya), KMKM SC (Zanzibar), Nyasa Big Bullets FC (Malawi).
Last Friday, Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Suzgo Nyirenda told local media that “we have confirmed our participation and we are going as guests”.
But SULOM General Secretary, Williams Banda declined to change the fixture, arguing that the league has been extended well enough due to Covid-19 and recent Malawi national football team engagements.
He, therefore said Bullets must play against Silver Strikers on Saturday, 31st July, and “thereafter they can decide to go and participate in CECAFA Kagame Cup in Tanzania.”
He observed the extension of the league has impacted negatively particularly on teams without sponsorship.
“We started the league in 2020 but was suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions and now we are in 2021 meaning that most of the teams their confers are dry.
“Secondly, just recently the national team participated in COSAFA, which also had an impact on the league itself,” said Banda.
He then faulted the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) for keeping the invitation to itself until last Friday when the country’s football governing body asked Sulom to shift Bullets’ match.
“When did FAM receive the invitation for the Champions of the TNM Super League to participate at Cecafa?
“Who will foot the cost in as far extension of the league to the teams in respect of fulfilling the fixtures as well the league to administer it until the end? queried Banda.
According to him, FAM should have informed SULOM in good time so that when they were reviewing the fixture after Flame’s engagements, they could have considered the invitation and revise the fixture.
“I know Cecafa organizers wrote, maybe, FAM sometime back but we were not informed until on the 23rd of July that’s when they wrote us, and we did inquire to say was this on the football calendar which was agreed between FAM and Sulom. We have yet to get the response to that effect
“As regards to this weekend’s fixture, I can assure the general public that come rain come shine, Nyasa Big Bullets Vs Silver Strikers will be played and thereafter, maybe, that’s when they decide to go to Cecafa, but for this weekend fixture, that one will be played.
“I don’t doubt about that and even Nyasa Big Bullets is aware, and Silver Strikers is aware, and FAM is aware that we released the fixture after revising it and I can assure you that this game will be played at any cost,” asserted Banda.
There were no immediate comments from FAM and Nyasa Big Bullets.