Silver Strikers have expressed concern over their crammed diary that will see them play four games within a week between tomorrow and next Wednesday.
The Central Bankers, who are in Gabon for tomorrow’s CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round first leg tie against A.O CMS, are scheduled to face Kamuzu Barracks on Saturday in the quarter-finals of the Fisd Challenge Cup before hosting Masters Security FC in a TNM Super League encounter the following day.
That is not all. Silver will then switch their focus to the return leg of the continental inter-club competition contest against the Gabonese side on Wednesday.
Silver chairperson Ralph Tseka yesterday said they are not amused with both Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) on how they are handling their fixtures.
“We are surprised that these two bodies are well aware of our participation in the CAF tournament and yet they have gone ahead to allocate us two matches this weekend.
“The team will only return from Gabon on Friday and then the following day, they expect the players to be in action. And as if that is not enough, we have been allocated another fixture on Sunday. This will greatly affect the boys in terms of recovery,” he said.
The Central Bankers’ chairperson said FAM and Sulom are not being considerate.
He said: “We are representing the nation in the CAF tournament, and under such circumstances, we would have expected them [FAM and Sulom] to give us a break.”
Tseka said their secretariat was scheduled to lodge formal complaints to both entities yesterday.
But FAM competitions and media director Gomezgani Zakazaka said he could not comment on the matter in the absence of Silver’s official complaint.
“We will wait for an official complaint and we will take it up from there,” he said.
Sulom vice-general secretary Major Thoko Chazema said it would be difficult to consider Silver’s complaint because they (Sulom) are also facing a race against time to complete the fixtures before the end of December.
“By being out of the country for the CAF assignment this week, it means Silver are also making our calendar to be crammed. We would love to complete the league fixtures before the end of December and if we exempt them from the remaining games, we may end up concluding the season in January 2019 and we do not want that,” he said.
However, Tseka countered: “But we have played more games compared to most teams. Wouldn’t this be the ideal time to give us a break so that other teams should catch up with us?”
Silver, who are third on the 16-team log table, have played 28 league games—two more than leaders Nyasa Big Bullets and second-placed Be Forward Wanderers.
Physical education expert Mark Tembo yesterday said it is detrimental to the health of players to play four competitive games in a space of seven days and after long travels.
“After 90 minutes of playing a game of football, there is a lot of muscle and tissue breakdown and the human body needs immediate replacement through ample resting period. Therefore, it is dangerous for players to engage in more than two games within a week.
“The other problem is that players or athletes wear down quickly in their careers if they frequently engage in intense physical activities. Fatigue can kill,” he said.