Age-old domestic football rivals Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers were yesterday drawn against each other in the Zambezi Soccer Challenge that is slated for this weekend at Kamuzu Stadium.
According to the draw conducted yesterday at Malawi National Council of Sports offices in Blantyre by organisers of the two-day showpiece TopSports Limited, The People’s Team will host the Nomads at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday for the latest episode in the never-ending battles for supremacy and it will be curtain-raised by another potentially explosive fixture between Silver Strikers and Zimbabwean top side Caps United.
The winners will clash in the final match on Sunday at the same venue.
Bullets supporters committee chairperson Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman and his Nomads’ counterpart Yona Malunga played out the first flurry of mind games by declaring that their respective teams will win the derby.
Said Osman: “Ka Wanderers n’kachaninso? Tiwina! [Who the hell are Wanderers anyway? We’ll win at all costs.”
But Malunga countered: “Musayiwaletu paja awa amatokota, tiwona loweruka. [Don’t forget that they [Bullets] are good at talking, we’ll see on Saturday].”
Meanwhile, a meeting between Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and TopSports resolved that teams that intend to feature unregistered players in the tournament will have to seek consent from the owners through FAM.
This followed Fifa-FAM transfer matching system (TSM) manager Casper Jangale’s earlier announcement that local teams would not be allowed to feature unregistered players to avoid player-tapping which degenerates into chaos.
Said Jangale in an earlier statement: “In as far as we are concerned, the 2013/14 season is still on until the remaining Super League decider between Wanderers and Silver is played, this, therefore, means that teams cannot be allowed to feature unregistered players to avoid chaotic player movement.”
The statement drew protests from some teams, in particular BB, who threatened not to participate in the tournament.
Argued Osman: “At the very beginning, we were told that this would be a pre-season tournament and we are in the process of rebuilding our team to the extent that we have gathered a number of trialists who we intend to feature in the tournament. If that is the position then let us know in advance so that we should not bother taking part.”
But after a meeting between FAM and TopSports, the football governing body’s competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka said: “An agreement has been reached whereby teams which intend to feature trialists should get a written consent from the player’s owners through FAM.”