Football players have given the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 until end of this week to decide when football can resume or face street protests.
Football Players Association (FPA) general secretary Ernest Mangani confirmed in an interview yesterday that the players, who are members of the association, will take to the streets.
He said: “The players are indeed saying if we do not get feedback on date of restart of the league this week, then they will go on the streets to express their cry.”
Mangani said they engaged Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) on the resumption of football, but they have not been assisted.
He said: “We are following procedures within the system. We officially wrote Sulom with copy to FAM on February 19, providing our suggestions.
“We are waiting for Sulom to advise us when the games will start.
“We are getting impatient now as you know the suffering we are undergoing due to suspension of football. We depend on football and we survive on it. We are hoping that this week good news will come our way. Otherwise, we will be taking next course of action if this dialogue fails.”
In an interview yesterday, Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda pleaded with the players to be patient.
He said: “I believe it is important to understand the genesis of the situation we are in. Government put restrictions on gatherings to not more than 50. With this threshold we cannot host a match with 50 people.
“Resumption of football is beyond us as we have to abide by the law. “This is why we took it up with government on a possible consideration for an increase in the threshold of the numbers specific for football as we are aware that the industry is at a risk of extinction, which would render our players and other stakeholders jobless.”
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed receiving the letter, but said the association is waiting for government’s response.
Sulom suspended TNM Super League on January 22 following the announcement of new public health guidelines to contain further spread of Covid-19.
The precautionary measures include restrictions on public gathering to 50 people.
FAM in February submitted a football resumption proposal in which it wants a waiver to play matches with 98 people.
Presidential Task Force on Covid co-chairperson Dr Wilfred ChalamiraNkhoma was not available for comment yesterday on the way forward.