The curtain for 2012-13 Super League season comes down tomorrow [Sunday] with the crowning of the latest league champions. On paper, there is a battle between defending champions Silver Strikers and resurgent giant Big Bullets both of whom are with a mathematical chance to claim the honours and the K9 million (about $26 000) that goes with the prestigious prize.
If truth be told, however, being three points ahead and with a 10-goal advantage, it would take a huge miracle for Silver to lose the championship even if they were to lose to Mighty Wanderers in their final match at Civo Stadium tomorrow [Sunday]. But if they manage to avoid defeat by either winning or settling for any sort of draw then it does not matter what Bullets do against Red Lions in the other match.
So much as there has been talk of a 10-0 win for Bullets it must be mentioned that even such an improbable result would not be enough to send Bullets through unless their neighbours Wanderers do them a favour by beating the Bankers even by a single goal to create the 11-goal turnaround needed for them to re-establish themselves as the best side on the land and rekindle memories of days of yore.
There will actually be more interest in what happens in Lilongwe. Will Wanderers ease a gear to ensure that Silver, and not bitter rivals, win the title, or will they take advantage of a probable relaxed attitude from the Bankers to try to finish as high as possible, depending on what happens to Lions and Blantyre United in the other fixtures of the weekend? That is something to watch out for.
Whatever happens, however, this should be regarded as a successful season for Bullets. This is a team that flirted with relegation not long ago and there were growing fears that one of the country’s biggest football establishments would be teetering on the brink of collapse. That they could be dreaming of a league title on the last day of the season so soon is nothing short of remarkable.
For this, I will always be a huge fan of Malinda Chinyama and his group of leaders at Bullets for the stellar work they have done in restoring pride at the People’s Team. They have literally brought the team back to life and when the history of the club is written in future it would be such big travesty not to regard this executive as a team of legends. It takes a lot to win such levels of admiration from me.
What has happened at Bullets is proof enough that a lot can be achieved in Malawi football if we had the best leadership at all levels. Their model is not perfect and can be improved upon but at least it gives hope that a good future is possible while at the same time exposing the weaknesses of those in sports administration that have sought to paint a picture of helplessness by their actions and words.
Away from home, we saw two big matches in the Uefa Champions League. On Tuesday the Arsenal hosted last season’s losing finalists Bayern Munich and the gulf in class was clear for all to see. The 3-1 home loss is not necessarily fatal but Arsene Wenger’s men will need a huge transformation and hope for an off-day for the home side to reverse the result in the second leg next month.
Come Wednesday attention shifted to the San Siro where AC Milan hosted the much fancied Barcelona and successfully stifled them and run out 2-0 winners.