With four days before facing Kenya’s Gor Mahia away in the CAF Champions League, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has given Nyasa Big Bullets a Fisd Cup quarter-finals fixture against Chitipa United tomorrow at Kamuzu Stadium.
The situation has forced Bullets to change their flight to accommodate the domestic fixture.
The People’s Team chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya said the football governing body should have rescheduled the fixture as it is risky to play before an international game.
“Although we have accepted to play Chitipa United in the Fisd Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Friday [tomorrow], FAM should have known better that we are preparing for the Champions League. We have just arrived from Tanzania where we played friendly games in preparations for the CAF game,” he said.
Haiya added: “It’s risky considering that some of our key players could get serious injuries which could affect our Champions League.”
Former FAM acting general secretary and football analyst George Kaudza Masina blamed FAM for not rescheduling the Champions League ambassadors’ domestic game.
“Much as this is in order, as our local clubs are used to playing games both on Saturdays and Sundays, I would have loved the game to be cancelled to give Bullets enough time to prepare,” he said.
Kaudza Masina added: “If I were FAM I would have exempted them from the Fisd game as they are representing the nation.”
He also said Bullets should have been treated just as Silver who were exempted from their quarter-final game against Kamuzu Barracks because of their Confederation Cup game Gabonese side A.O CMS.
But FAM competitions and media director Gomegzani Zakazaka said there was nothing wrong with the Fisd fixture.
“If they have complained then we are not aware of that. We have a calendar which has to be respected as we should operate as professionals,” he said.
“They have enough time as their Champions League game will be played next week Wednesday.”
On Silver’s exemption Zakazaka said they booked their flight earlier because of complicated connections to West Africa.
“We could not have done otherwise because they contributed more players to senior national team which played on Saturday and the Under-23 which played on Tuesday. Straight from their Champions League they will play the Fisd Cup game,” he said.