Be Forward Wanderers have expressed frustration after their playmaker Yamikani Chester was ruled out of tomorrow’s Blantyre derby following an injury from a tackle by Nyasa Big Bullets defender Yamikani Fodya during national team training yesterday.
Wanderers team manager Stevie Madeira confirmed that the versatile winger, who has won man-of-the-match awards in the Nomads’ past two TNM Super League fixtures, has been sent back home after suffering an ankle injury.
“He is out with an ankle strain,” he said.
Flames team manager James Sangala also confirmed the development.
“What happened is that as Chester was running with the ball, Fodya tried to tackle him and win the ball, but he accidentally stepped on the inside of Chester’s foot,” he said.
But Sangala ruled out foul play in the tackle ahead of the Blantyre derby between Bullets and Wanderers.
“Yes of course he was injured by Fodya. But to be honest, it wasn’t intentional. It was not deliberate” he said.
Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao said their playmaker’s injury was a big blow.
“It’s very unfortunate. But we have a deep squad. We will cope and aim at beating them [Bullets],” he said.
Ironically, Chester was initially not in the Flames squad.
He was recalled just two days ago by public demand following his impressive performance in Wanderers’ last two TNM Super League matches.
Bullets lead the 16-teamtable with 45 points while the Nomads are second with 38 points.
Meanwhile, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has admitted that it faces a challenge by hosting the Blantyre derby at Kamuzu Stadium.
But Sulom said it has no choice since the alternative venue, Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe is booked.
Reacting to whether Sulom can guarantee the safety of spectators at the stadium which has seen its capacity trimmed from 60 000 to 14 000 over the past eight years, Sulom general secretary (GS) Williams Banda said they are hoping for the best.
The stadium, which was condemned by Fifa and assigned zero capacity, reopened two weeks ago after a new turf was installed and some renovations that excluded the condemned stands.
Banda said they faced challenges in the two Super League matches played at the venue since reopening involving Wanderers and Azam Tigers as well as Bullets and Karonga United.
The GS said the venue’s main challenge is that people enter the stadium by climbing over the brick wall in full view of security officers.
“In the two matches we noted that we still have the same problem of crowd trouble. People came to the stadium hoping they would enter without using the designated gates and that poses a problem in terms of controlling the capacity,” he said.
Sulom has hiked gate charges for the match as a control measure.
Open stands charges are up from K2 000 to K2 500.
MBC stands tickets are at K5 000 from K3 000.
Covered stands are at K7 500 from K5 000 while VIP stand are at K10 000 from K5 000.