The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has shifted kick- off of the second round of the TNM Super League by a week from September 5 to 12 because the initial date clashes with the Flames’ 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda, who also acts as the body’s general secretary, yesterday said the change has been made following consultations with the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
“The national team will be playing against Swaziland during the weekend of September 5-6 and we have seen it wise to shift the start of the second round,” he said.
Asked on the justification of the shift considering that not all teams will contribute more than three players to qualify for exemption from games, Somba-Banda said: “We are trying to avoid a situation whereby some teams should be playing more than others because at times the playing field is not level.
“This is the last round and we would want teams to be at par in terms of games played to ensure fair play, so when a team is not playing, it should be because of the odd number that we have and nothing else”.
He also said teams that will be playing in the Standard Bank Knockout Cup during weekends will be allocated mid-week games to be at par with the others.
The flagship football league spokesperson also said the current season will end on December 5.
Reacting to the development, Silver Strikers acting general secretary Fred Kalonga said while they would not complain, they feel the break has been too long.
“While it was good that the players had a rest and teams had an opportunity to strategise, the break period has been too long. It is like we are starting all over again, but what else can we do? We just have to follow the arrangement since they are the administrators of the league,” said Kalonga.
However, Be Forward Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao said the shift suits them fine.
“It suits us fine because unlike the other teams, it meant we and Bullets would not have had a break because of the Carlsberg Cup final.
“They should also consider shifting the transfer window by a week to level the playing field because while other teams have been delving into the transfer market, our focus has been on the cup,” said Butao.
The first round ended on July 26, but the bulk of the teams finished a week earlier.