Silver Strikers is investigating allegations that some of its players were involved in social football despite the ban on all football activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pictures of newly-signed Foster Bitoni and Stain Dave as well as defender Hadji Wali playing for a social team from Mchesi Township in Lilongwe on Sunday have gone viral on social media.
Silver Strikers communication and marketing officer David Daniel Dauda said the club is investigating the matter.
“We also saw the pictures on social media. That is why the club has instituted an investigation into the matter to establish the truth,” he said.
Dauda said all the players were given a personal training programme and restricted from getting involved in any football activity as directed by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and government.
If proved that the players were indeed involved in the social football match, they face a disciplinary action, according to Dauda.
Government banned all sporting activities last month, but some social teams are defying the ban by staging matches.
Spot-checks nationwide has shown that it is business as usual in townships with social football clubs’ matches attracting hundreds of football starved spectators.
FAM competitions director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the association is responsible for association football only and not social football.
“We have no jurisdiction over such social teams because they are informal and we cannot stop their matches. That’s not the FA’s jurisdiction,” he said.
On TNM Super League players getting involved in such matches, Zakazaka said the association is empowered to take action against the players and their clubs.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina observed that lack of civic education is making people take the coronavirus pandemic and ban on football lightly.
He said: “The challenge with a lot of us is that coronavirus is more of a myth. A number of measures have been put in place to combat it, but are not being adhered to.
“When we talk about suspension of all sporting activities football inclusive, others are looking more at those competitive ones which shows ignorance. Teams and players need to adhere to the directive and stop this malpractice for their own good and that of the community.”