Football To Return To Malawi In Empty Stadiums

The national football team of Malawi, the Flames have been given the go ahead to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers and the FIFA World Cup qualifiers by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, under strict conditions which includes playing the matches in an empty stadium.

Football authorities in the country have been under immense pressure from the fans to reopen stadiums as they were set to demonstrate to seek the return of matches.

The Malawi football season is yet to commence as they wait for a review of the Presidential Task Force next Thursday, and there has been growing frustration among football clubs as they feel the Malawi government is imposing strict requirements before reopening stadiums while travel and political parties adhere to less stringent rules and demands.

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“There are double standards. Look at other parts of society that are opening. People are sitting next to each other in buses, crowding in political rallies, but even social distance in open air stadiums is not being allowed, that’s unfair” Kingsley Malaya, Silver Strikers supporter said.

Malaya said he is happy with the decision to partially lift the ban on football, but fans should be let into stadiums or else teams will face financial problems.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is undertaking a complex scenario modelling to help follow the strict government protocols, such as maintaining social distancing between supporters at stadiums.

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The FAM president, Walter Nyamilandu said the lifting of the ban on The Flames of Malawi is “the first step to get started”, and he said the situation is being “reviewed periodically”.

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