Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has reversed plans to reduce the number of its teams in the TNM Super League from four to three next season.
Last year, MDF blocked Chilumba Barracks from joining the elite league after earning promotion from the Simama Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) Premier League as part of its sports sector reforms and further announced that the coming season would the reduction of the number of its teams to three.
This, the army said, was in response to economic problems facing the country.
In the Super League, MDF sponsors Red Lions, Mafco, Moyale Barracks and Kamuzu Barracks. All these teams survived relegation in the just ended season.
The army leadership announced last week that it would meet to review the decision to reduce its Super League representation.
But speaking in an interview just after Kamuzu Barracks (KB) were crowned Super League champions at Chitowe ground after beating Dwangwa United 4-1 on Saturday, Army Commander General Griffin Supuni-Phiri assured all the four teams that they will retain the elite league status.
“All our four teams playing in the top league will continue,” he said, “that’s the decision we have made.”
In the meantime, Supuni-Phiri has urged the corporate sector to form business partnerships with his teams, a move he said would make the clubs to be economically more viable.
“MDF belongs to everybody, so whoever wants to support our teams is welcome. It is their support which can make these teams stronger,” he said.
Reacting to MDF’s decision to maintain four teams, Moyale coach Collins Nkuna said they will repay the army leadership by winning trophies.
“It’s a welcome gesture but, I think, to show our appreciation we will have to perform well on the pitch and continue winning trophies,” he said.
KB team manager Francis Nthukwa Shawa also hailed the decision, saying army teams make the Super League exciting.
However, he urged the MDF leadership to allow other army teams to play in the Super League once they have earned promotion.
“There are a lot of army teams playing in lower divisions. I would be happy if they are allowed to play in the Super League because it’s every team’s dream to be in the top league,” he said. n