The country’s financial meltdown has not spared the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) which has announced it intends to reduce the number of its teams in the Super League to three by 2017.
The first casualty will be Chilumba Barracks.
The Karonga-based outfit will not take up their spot in the league despite finishing as champions for Northern Region Football Association’s Simama League in 2015.
MDF head of training Brigadier General Alick Mhone confirmed the development yesterday.
“We have too many commitments. We cannot sustain all the five teams in the Super League,” he said.
“The coming year we intend to have only three teams in the league, preferably, one from each region.”
Mhone said Chilumba is the first casualty because it would be tough for the team to fulfil its fixtures if it was to stay in the league.
“Management is saying that Chilumba is very far from Central and Southern Region and considering the cost involved, you will find that they might have problems to sustain themselves,” said Mhone.
“We have started with Chilumba and next year we will have three depending on the performance of the teams. The one that finishes on fourth position among the four teams will be taken off.”
He however, said the teams would continue participating in the lower leagues.
Mhone said: “They will continue playing in those leagues because the idea of participating in lower leagues is not entirely to be promoted to the Super League, but to keep our soldiers fit and be part of the communities. So they will continue in those leagues, but as far as we are concerned, starting next season we are reducing the number of teams in the Super League to three.”
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they were waiting for official communication from MDF.
“Of course, they informally told us about the decision,” Banda said. “But we will wait for them to officially write us on their position.”
On who would take up Chilumba’s place, Banda said Sulom would announce their position once they receive the letter from Chilumba.
“The executive will meet to discuss the issue,” said Banda.
However, in the past the runners-up in the lower leagues have been earning promotion when champions fail to do so.
Northern Region Football Association chairperson Lameck Khonje yesterday said the runners-up Karonga United have to be promoted.