Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has applauded Super League of Malawi (Sulom) for concluding the TNM Super League fixtures within the 2019 football calendar despite a number of challenges.
The 2019 season comes to an end this weekend with the Fisd Challenge Cup final on Saturday and Super League decisive matches on Sunday.
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka yesterday said there were so many obstacles that could have forced the league season to spill over to next year, but Sulom did everything possible to conclude it only a day after the December 21 deadline.
“This was one of the toughest seasons in terms of planning fixtures. To begin with, there were a number of international competitions such as Afcon [African Cup of Nations] qualifiers and Cosafa Championship and Chan games, which destabilised the league fixtures,” he said.
“At a certain stage, the league matches were postponed due to tension ahead of Tripartite Elections, but still Sulom has done its best to complete the season within schedule. This is commendable.”
Overall, Zakazaka said the season has been competitive with the Super League title battle going all the way to the last day when either leaders and reigning champions Nyasa Big Bullets or Be forward Wanderers will carry the day as they host TN Stars and face Mlatho Mponela, respectively.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda thanked FAM for appreciating their efforts, but said there is a need for the two entities to strategise on how the next FAM calendar should be like to avoid a repeat of the challenges they faced.
“It was tough to convince clubs about the crammed fixtures they had, but we had no choice. While we thank FAM for the compliments, we believe we can do better in the next seasons if we strategise on how to restructure the football calendar,” he said.
Banda also attributed the crammed fixtures to inadequate football pitches and he commended the referees for improved officiation of games.
Sulom had to schedule some matches within the week as they faced a race against time, a situation that led to some clubs playing three matches within a week.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga and Nomads chairperson Gift Mkandawire last week said they expect an improved arrangement next season.
Said Chigoga: “We expect Sulom and other stakeholders to have a better plan in future.”
Mkandawire said: “The situation hit us hard. Players are human beings and not hoes and deserve ample time to rest.”