Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has turned down a request from Nyasa Big Bullets to reschedule their Carlsberg Cup round of 16 match against Kamuzu Barracks.
The two sides clash this afternoon at Chilomoni Stadium despite Bullets protest against the fixture, arguing that they needed to camp to prepare for the Sunday Super League Blantyre Derby at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga wrote FAM asking the cup’s organising committee to consider rescheduling the match so that they can concentrate on the tie.
“Our opponents have no mid-week game which gives them proper preparation for the derby and their players will not have any risks of being injured in the run up to the derby.” he said.
The general secretary said playing the mid-week fixture will give Wanderers an advantage.
He said: “Traditionally, we dispatch our team for camping each time we have a competitive game against our arch rivals [Mighty Be Forward Wanderers] but we accept the mid-week fixture on understanding that our opponents would also have the mid-week game which is not the case if the fixture you have released is anything to go by.
“Take note that our local derby involving us and Wanderers is the most famous and emotive derby in Malawi. We, therefore, do not want the FA to be dragged into unnecessary politics of our local game if this fixture is retained while our opponents are resting. By postponing the game, you are levelling the play field and everyone will appreciate the decision. In view of the above, we pray that you will take our request very seriously and revert with positive response.”
But FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka said Bullets did not have enough grounds to warrant the rescheduling of the match.
Meanwhile, Bullets coach Elia Kananji said they are ready for this afternoon’s match.
“We are ready for them [KB]. Of course, this match will have an effect on the team’s performance in the Sunday derby. But as of now, we are focused on the Carlsberg Cup match,” he said.
KB coach Billy Phambala said they are ready for the showdown which comes afer Bullets also beat KB 1-0 in Super League at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo two weeks ago.
But he said this time around, the soldiers are geared for the battle.
“It’s a cup game that can go either way,” said Phambala.
In other Carlsberg Cup matches this afternoon, Red Lions host Silver Strikers at Balaka Stadium while Dwangwa United will host Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium. n