TNM Super League relegation battlers have pleaded for favour from the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to exempt them from facing the chop this season.
Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman, Mzuzu Warriors general secretary (GS) Donnex Chilongo and his Chitipa United counterpart Duma Ngoma argue that this season has had many complications due to Covid-19 impact, making it difficult for teams to compete fairly.
They also believe that second-tier (regional) leagues were not very competitive this season to qualify for automatic promotion to the top-flight as they used the cup competition format instead of the normal league format; hence, there are no teams to get promoted to the second-tier leagues since there was no competition in the third-tier.
Said Osman: “We are concerned because it has not been normal this season. There were so many complications and uncertainties that spoiled the quality of competition.”
Chilongo, on the other hand said it has been more like playing games under protest this season; hence Super League relegation battlers deserve another chance in the league.
“Our games have been regularly facing problems, which were enough to necessitate the cancellation of this season, but we went on with the fixtures for the sake of avoiding going two consecutive seasons without football action,” he said.
On his part, Ngoma agreed that that Super League strugglers deserve a second chance.
“Of course, all teams have to fight to survive relegation but the problems we are facing this season are so unbearable. We are currently consulting legal experts to help us because we know there are some legal complications,” he said.
But Central Region Football Association (CRFA) vice-GS Antonio Manda said it will be unfair to regional league teams if Sulom entertains the request.
“For starters, these Super League strugglers knew that there will be relegation at the end of the season and they had to fight hard for their survival. Covid-19 should not be scapegoat,” he said.
Blantyre City FC chairperson Frank Nachamba said their team competed in the second-tier league this season because they want to get Super League promotion.
Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda yesterday said whether the concerns are genuine or not, it will not be possible to accept the clubs’ request because there will be some constitutional complications.
He said: “The issue of relegating teams from the top-flight league is a constitutional matter that cannot be changed overnight. Fairplay is predominantly the core principle of the game.”
Currently, Warriors anchor the 16-team Super League table with 16 points from 24 games and they remain with six games.
Ntopwa are 15th on 20 points from 26 matches while Chitipa lie 13th with 25 points from 24 games Mighty Tigers are 14th with 22 points from 24 matches.
Defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets are at the summit with 48 points from 22 games closely followed by Silver Strikers, who have 46 points from 23 games.