Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has offered clubs a relief by nodding to supporters call to be allowed to watch games at half capacity.
In an interview yesterday, the minister, who is co-chairperson of Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, said: “Out-door activities, including games, will be allowed to have spectators half the capacity of the venue.
“But they will still be required to be observing the Covid-19 preventive measures [wearing masks, washing hands and physical distancing].”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomegzani Zakazaka welcomed the move in an interview yesterday, saying the national soccer governing body is ready to obey the regulations.
He said: “As an out-door event, we will prepare accordingly to make sure that when fans are allowed, we follow all necessary protocols.
“We developed measures for all scenarios for empty stadiums, limited attendance and full attendance.
“With what is being proposed, we are ready to ensure fans be observing social distancing, hygiene measures and mandatory use of masks.”
Zakazaka said the development will help clubs generate income through gate collections.
Reacting to the development, Be Forward Wanderers general secretary Victor Maunde said this will boost teams’ incomes.
“It’s a sigh of relief, considering the fact that most teams in Malawi have no sponsorship and the little they get from the gates, though not enough, helps them sort out some bills,” he said.
On his part, Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thoko Chimbali said: “It is a welcome development, considering that fans have waited for too long.
Nyasa Big Bullets supporters director Stone Mwamadi applauded the ministry for the decision.
“This is what we have been waiting for for a long time. It is good for teams as supporters inspire players to do well. Gate collections are also critical, especially to teams which do not have sponsorship.”
In September, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 directed that the Flames should participate in the Africa Cup of Nations and Fifa World Cup qualifiers under strict conditions, including without fans.
This followed supporters mounting pressure, including threats to hold demonstrations against the ban.
On Saturday, Silver Strikers hosted Kamuzu Barracks in friendly matches played behind closed doors.