Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu says the odds are stacked against starting the 2020 domestic football season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a very difficult situation now in Malawi due to the pandemic, our case numbers are rising,” the Football Association of Malawi President, who is also a member of the FIFA governing council, told The COSAFA Show podcast last week.
“Malawi is experiencing a peak, life is very tough. You have death all around and people who are very sick and the economic situation is also down. The situation is very bleak.
“The Malawi government announced a state of disaster in March which led to a prohibition on public gatherings and we were forced to suspend all football activities.”
Until mid-May, there were fewer than 100 total Covid-19 infections in the East African country. Having breached the 1000 mark in late-June, the total recorded cases now stand at 5125 with 162 deaths and 2690 recoveries.
Nyamilandu said since they had been hoping to kick off the 2020 campaign, it had to begin by the end during the month of September at the latest.
“We have spoken to a lot of stakeholders about getting the game back underway from the ministry of health down to our sponsors and we produced our blueprint to convince them that football could start safely, but unfortunately as we were about to kick off the rate of infections rose rapidly.
“Now we wait to hear from the government about what is the way forward. At this stage there is no football activity; no clubs are training and no matches are taking place. Life has changed completely.”
Nyamilandu said he was hoping for a government green light for football to resume in September, but if not they will abandon the season and start again early next year with the 2021 campaign.
“We will lose the 2020 season completely but it is force majeure, beyond our control and everybody will understand. Hopefully, we can just prepare for a new season next year.”
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo