Football analysts have warned Be Forward Wanderers and Masters Security that they need thorough preparations or risk embarrassing themselves in the Confederation of African Football (CAF)competitions.
The Nomads have been drawn against DR Congo giants AS Vita in Champions League whereas Masters Security have been paired against Atlético Petróleos de Luanda of Angola in Confederations Cup.
The first legs, of the matches will be played between February 9 and 11 while the second legs, will be played between February 16 and 18.
While Nomads are joining the Champions League as prospective Super League champions, Masters, who are 13th on the log table, have joined the competition because no cup winners showed interest.
Commenting on the two teams’ decisions to join the CAF competitions, analyst David Kanyenda observed that Wanderers can survive
the pressure at CAF level after a few changes, but cautioned Masters.
“Technically, Nomads have depth and experience to hold their own. I am not so certain about Masters. They will need to acquire more new signings than Nomads to enable them to compete. Masters are going to CAF Confederation Cup via the backdoor as they haven’t won any trophy or even reached a cup final and their league performance isn’t impressive,” he said.
Apart from the technical aspect, analysts have also tipped the two teams not to rely on a shoe-string budget, lest they suffer Nyasa Big Bullets’ predicament after their 2014 CAF Champions League participation, when they ended up with a debt of over K108 million.
Added Kanyenda: “In terms of financial capacity, Nomads have a deeper pocket than Masters. Be Forward should easily bankroll the club. I am not so certain about Masters’ capacity, especially if they progress in the competition. But one would like to believe that FAM is satisfied about their financial soundness to avoid budgetary deficit that occurred to Bullets.”
But another analyst, Charles Nyirenda, warned that one sponsor will not be enough.
He said: “For Wanderers, they should not be fooled that sponsorship from Be Forward is enough for CAF participation. If they struggle to use the same amount for the Super League, can it last them in the Champions League?
“Masters Security should do some soul-searching. Do they even have the financial muscle to fulfil a single fixture when every day we hear about the club failing to pay their players?
“On the pitch, both our teams have tough assignments ahead. The preparations have to start now. Technically, the task for Be Forward and Masters Security is massive if they are to have an impression on the competition.”
But Wanderers acting chairperson Gift Mkandawire said the decision to participate in the CAF Champions League had their sponsors’ blessings.
“It is not a decision that has been made today. We had discussions with our sponsors, who gave us full blessings,” he said.
According to Mkandawire, Be Forward are ready to meet all expenses for the competition’s fixtures.
“A full budget will be known soon, now that the draw is out. We already have a rough estimate of what to expect because in the first-round, we will play teams from the same [southern Africa] region.”
But the Nomads boss said they will also line up activities to help them raise extra funds for the team’s CAF participation.
Masters general secretary Zacharia Nyirenda downplayed fears that his team is financially not capable of playing in the Confederations Cup, saying their struggles in the Super League are not a yardstick for measuring their preparedness.
On the technical side, Masters coach Abbas Makawa said they will beef up their squad.
“To be honest, we cannot compete effectively with our current squad,” he said.
The two sides have up to December 31 to complete players’ registration, according to Football Association fo Malawi (FAM) club licensing manager Casper Jangale.