The Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football League faces a fixture pile-up hitch as the season draws towards the end.
While the other regional leagues have almost completed their fixtures, the South has some teams which have between eight and 13 games to play.
Southern Region FootballAssociation (SRFA) chairperson Raphael Humba attributed the predicament to latekick-off of the season due to immediate past sponsor Masters Security Services’failure to honour prizes for the previous season.
“We could not start the league in time because our previous sponsors had not honoured their obligations.
“We also did not want to find ourselves in a situation where we were not certain about the future. As a result, we started almost two months late and that is now taking its toll on us,” he said.
However, the league’s fixtures secretary Kingsley Simbeye, who is also SRFA vice-general secretary, expressed optimism that the league will wind up during the second week of January so that the champions can have ample time to rest and then switch focus to TNM Super League preparations.
Meanwhile, Premier Division leaders Ntopwa FC suffered a setback in their quest to win the league when they lost 3-2 to Changalume Barracks last weekend.
Despite the loss, Ntopwa still top the 22-team log table with 74 points from 34 games followed by Cobbe Barracks who have 69 points from the same number of games. Hangover are third with 67 points from 32 matches with MDF Marine on fourth position with 66 points from 33 matches.
Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, who are fifth with 63 points, remain one of the strongest contenders as they have played 29 matches and had 13 matches still to play as of yesterday.
However, Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman said his team is not moved that Bullets Reserves have a five-game cushion.
“As the saying goes, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’. So, other than worry about Bullets Reserve, we have to focus on our games and try to collect as many points as possible. But I would also urge the league-runners to ensure that they cut the gap of games played by allocating more to those that have played less,” he said.
Mlatho Mponela emerged champions of the Chipiku Stores Central Region Football League Premier Division while Chitipa United did it in the Northern Region Simso League. The two teams have earned automatic promotion to the Super League.