Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says with time running out and Covid-19 cases rising rapidly, it fears that the 2020 season could be lost.
The local football governing body is still waiting for government’s response on its proposed roadmap to restart football next month.
But commenting on the current situation, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said: “It is a possibility that the 2020 season could be lost because we are going towards the end of the year.
“But we have to appreciate that this is a disaster and with a disaster you have to forego some things.
“Everything is possible under the prevailing circumstance. For better planning purposes, we will need to be flexible and open minded about any eventuality.
“These undesirable consequences that have been brought about by Covid-19 are beyond our control and they require extraordinary measures to deal with the situation at hand.”
Nevertheless, the FAM president said as of now, they are still pursuing the first option of restarting football by end September, “failing which, the season will be considered lost”.
He said under such circumstances, they would be looking at the next season kicking off by March 2021.
“But fingers are crossed that everything will go according to plan,” he said.
Malawi National Council of Sports acting executive secretary Henry Mereka told our sister newspaper Weekend Nation that sport will not return anytime soon in the face of crising cases of Covid-19.
He said: “There is no other direction…Sport activities will remain suspended as the cases are still rising, posing threats to lives of Malawians.
“Under such circumstances, we shall not resume anytime soon so that we help to prevent the further spread of the virus. My pleas to the sports fraternity is that let us exercise patience and follow the preventive measures.”
Meanwhile, Civil Service (Civo) United captain Raphael Phiri and his Nyasa Big Bullets counterpart John Lanjesi holdthe view that football should resume next year.
Said Phiri: “My personal position is that considering the current rapid rise of Covid-19 cases, we should forget resuming football this year. It would be better to start planning for next year.
“Of course, there are suggestions from some quarters that we can resume without fans, but what assurance do we have that players will be safe considering that we come from different communities? So, it is a tricky situation.
“Besides that, even if the authorities would approve football resumption, we’ll need adequate time to prepare and get in shape and we have the rainy season ahead.”
On his part, Lanjesi said: “To be honest the situation is scary and we cannot toy around with the idea of resuming football now, after all we don’t have much time. We should just be preparing for next year.”
However, Be Forward Wanderers captain Alfred Manyozo Jnr believes that whatever the case, football should resume, “but games should be played in empty stadiums”.
He said: “It is not on that we should forego the season…As for the issue of compensating teams for gate revenue, that is FAM’s and Sulom’s [Super League of Malawi] responsibility.
“We have to accept that the pandemic is within us and life must go on. We should not be denied our right to earn a living.”