Be Forward Wanderers have given in to Super League of Malawi’s (Sulom) decision that Saturday’s TNM Super League showdown against their age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets should be played at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe.
This follows a meeting which the flagship league governing body had with the two teams on Monday evening in Blantyre.
Wanderers general secretary (GS) Mike Butao confirmed in an interview with The Nation yesterday having changed their tune.
“There were a number of issues that were discussed pertaining to the derby such as safety of the spectators and the teams considering the crucial stage that the league has reached and we reconsidered our decision for the good of the game.
“In the first place, we were not against playing in Lilongwe, but our concern was that Sulom determined the venue without consulting us as hosts. There were also some logistical issues which they needed to address,” he said.
Sulom GS Williams Banda said they were prioritising safety of the people “which is paramount”.
“We shouldn’t play with people’s lives. Balaka cannot host a game of such magnitude and we have a case for reference when a fan died and many others got injured during a match between Wanderers and Silver Strikers [in 2012],” he said.
In an earlier interview on Monday before the meeting, the Sulom GS said they would only give in to the Nomads’ demand on condition that they sign a document”so that they are answerable in case of any eventualities and the documents would be submitted to police and courts”.
Wanderers were demanding to play at BNS, arguing that it is their official home and wanted to make full use of home ground advantage.
Saturday’s clash has been billed as a potential league decider.
The Nomads, who lost the first round encounter 1-0, lead the 16-team log table with 54 points from 23 games, seven above second-placed Bullets, who however, have a game in hand.
Meanwhile, Sulom has announced that open stands tickets will be at K2 000, covered stands K3 000, VIP stands K5 000 while corporate box is at K10 000.n