Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets have upped their crusade to force the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to cancel their TNM Super League matches scheduled for Monday, arguing that it is posing a challenge to plan without a number of their key players.
The Nomads and the People’s Team have contributed six and five players, respectively to the Flames squad for Sunday’s dead rubber 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Swaziland’s Sihlangu.
Wanderers have contributed goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa, defenders Stanley Sanudi, Harry Nyirenda and Francis Mulimbika alongside midfielder Rafick Namwera and striker Peter Wadabwa whereas Bullets have contributed goalkeeper Enerst Kakhobwe, defenders Miracle Gabeya and Yamikani Fodya, midfielder Dalitso Sailesi and forward Chiukepo Msowoya.
Nomads’ team manager Stevie Madeira said: “We have six players in the Flames camp. It is understandable that the coach says he will not release players before the Swaziland match. This is why, as a club, we are insisting that [Super League of Malawi] Sulom should consider shifting the matches scheduled for Monday to a later date,” Madeira said.
“We cannot prepare for such a crucial match [against Red Lions on Monday] without six of our key players, it affects the whole purpose of planning even if they will be available just for the match. Had we contributed two or three, it would have been understandable, but not six. Sulom should accommodate our plea.”
His Bullets counterpart Rahim Ishmael concurred with Madeira that they will be negatively affected if the Monday games are not shifted.
“The best thing is for Sulom to shift the games because we do not even know in what shape our players will be after playing an international match on Saturday. It also poses a big challenge to plan around such a big number of players that are not readily available,” argued Ishmael whose side is scheduled to face PremierBet Wizards FC.
Flames coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan has dismissed possibilities of releasing players to train with their teams before the Swaziland game.
He said yesterday, after the ‘full-house’ national team training at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe, Blantyre, that the technical panel cannot afford to disrupt the players, who must have ample time to gel.
However, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda had not yet responded to our questionnaire at press time.
But he told the Tuesday edition of The Nation that they were reluctant to cancel the Monday fixtures because that would affect their league calendar.
“We do not want some teams to have a pile of fixtures. This is why we just moved the fixtures by a day only. Secondly, you know some of these games will be beamed live on television, so it will disrupt planning for the TV guys,” he was quoted as saying.