FAM says government’s move to review the gazetted rule on the number of people in public gatherings aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 gives them hope that football could resume sooner than feared.
On Thursday last week, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced during a press conference that following a meeting with religious leaders, they had decided to revert to limiting public gatherings to 100 people.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, who last week cast doubt on football resuming this year due to the new laws, yesterday said: “The slip back to 100 gives us hope that the 2020 season can be saved and football can return soon, but only behind closed doors.
“I have no doubt that if we present a strong case, football can be given an exception as long as we are able to demonstrate that the protocals we will put in place will be watertight and will not endanger the lives of the players, fans and officials.”
He said it is going to be a huge loss for football if the 2020 season is cancelled.
“It’s going to be a huge loss for football industry and the country in general.
“We are talking about football being a source of income for the players and officials and also as a source of entertainment for the fans. So, there is a lot of social economic loss,” said Nyamilandu.
However, the FAM president reiterated that they are not going to push the authorities to restart football.
“These undesirable consequences that have been brought about by the Covid-19 are beyond our control and they require extraordinary measures to deal with the situation.
“The guidance of the authorities will be very critical during this process. This is why we are consulting extensively so that we restart in the safest manner possible,” he said.
On her part, Kandodo Chiponda also said she is aware that sports has suffered a lot because of the pandemic.
“But let me get the facts before I can comment,” she said.
Sport was suspended in March this year as a preventive measure against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama last week said they are waiting for experts’ guidance on the way forward.