Football Players Association of Malawi (FPA) has asked FAM and Sulom to suspend TNM Super League matches until all the players are tested for Covid-19.
In a press statement signed by FPA president Jimmy Zakazaka, the association says this would help to curtail continued spread of the pandemic.
This comes after Super League of Malawi (Sulom) postponed yesterday’s Blantyre derby involving defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium after nine Bullets players tested positive for the virus, but allowed other fixtures to proceed this weekend.
FPA believes there is a risk to its members that play for other teams, considering that Bullets had played a number of league games in the past 14 days.
The statement reads, in part: “FPA has learnt with concern the recent news that a significant number of players and officials for Bullets have been isolated due to Covid-19 symptoms and possible positive statuses.
“Considering that the team had played league games in the past 14 days, the FPA considers this as a potential risk to its members that play for other teams. To protect its members, FPA would like to request authorities to suspend play until all registered Super League players are tested before they resume play as a measure to curtail possible continued spread of Covid-19.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Covid-19 Task Force chairperson Chimango Munthali, who is also FAM executive committee member, yesterday said they have scheduled a meeting with the FPA to help them understand the guidelines and get their government protocols on testing and what they agreed regarding restarting football.
“We applaud their [FPA’s] interest in the area. They can surely be a very powerful channel to ensure that adherence to protocols should start with players,” said Munthali.
Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda expressed surprise at FPA’s request. When Nation on Sunday introduced the issue to him through WhatsApp yesterday, he just replied: “Really?”
Yesterday, the Super League had five games while today four games are expected to be played.