A sports management firm known as Corporate Networking Sports (CNS) has planned to launch five-a-side football in the country in which each team fields five players.
Apart from fielding of four outfield players and a goalkeeper, the sport differs from conventional football as it uses smaller pitch, smaller goal posts, and has a reduced game duration.
Matches are played indoors, or outdoors on AstroTurf or artificial grass pitches that may be enclosed within a barrier or cage to prevent the ball from leaving the playing area and keep the game flowing.
After CNS was founded in 2013 by four passionate Malawians based in South Africa with a common passion for sports, fitness and good health. The initial plan was changed and they ventured into five-a-side football.
“Initially, the group was founded as a makeshift fitness routine to the mundane gym class activities. Along the way, we changed because it is a version of sports generally regarded as more exciting, among others.
“This, eventually, led to the formation of a very competitive five-aside soccer team in Midrand, Johannesburg, known as Nyau Stars. The team eventually was crowned champions for three consecutive seasons between 2013, and early 2015 for a local league,” said CNS chairperson Francis Muleso in an interview.
He said the launch is scheduled for October 31 at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe where 32 teams will compete from round robin group stages to knock out stages.
“The winner will go away with K200 000 and runners-up shall go away with K50 000, South African based Nyau Stars Football Club shall be the guest team on the day.” said Muleso.
As a way of popularising the sport, next year, Malawi will have its first-ever five-aside based in Lilongwe to closely work with strategic stakeholders in the promotion of the game.
South Africa has this game in all the 11 provinces.