The Fisd Challenge Cup round of 16 draw conducted at Mpira Village in Chiwembe, Blantyre yesterday has piled more pressure on some TNM Super League outfits that will have to brave crammed fixtures.
The Fisd round of 16 matches are expected to be played between October 25 and 26 yet most of the top-flight league teams already have at least two or three league games between October 21 and 28.
Blue Eagles will bear much of the pain as they have to brave five games within seven days as apart from their Fisd Cup encounter against Masters Security FC, they are also supposed to fulfil league fixtures against Azam Tigers on October 21, Nyasa Big Bullets the following day, Chitipa United on October 27 and Mzuni FC on October 28.
Within this period, Bullets, Kamuzu Barracks (KB), Mafco, Mzuni FC and Masters also have two league games each on top of their Fisd encounters.
“We are very much worried with the crammed fixtures because apart from causing fatigue among our players they are also a recipe for injuries,” said Eagles coach Audlow Makonyola.
“Already, we have a depleted squad ahead of our tough assignment following injuries of our key players such as midfielder Gilbert Chirwa and defenders Wonder German, Alufeyas Nyoni and Akimu Kazombo. However, we have no option but to fulfil the fixtures.”
FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola, who facilitated the Fisd Cup draw yesterday, said teams that have complaints about the fixtures are free to meet the competitions committee for consideration.
“Nevertheless, we will sit with Super League of Malawi [Sulom] to see if it is necessary to change some fixtures,” he said.
As we went to press, FAM and Sulom officials were in a closed meeting trying to strategise how they would make the Fisd Cup fixtures reasonable for Super League outfits.
In round of 16, Bullets will host winners of Simama Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) Premier League encounters involving Rumphi Medicals, Karonga United and Luwinga United while Tigers and Moyale Barracks will be up against Holy Cross Ambassadors/Mlatho Mponela FC and Baka FC/Katowo FC, respectively..
Eagles FC and Mafco FC will entertain fellow top-flight league outfits Mzuni FC and Masters Security FC, respectively, whereas Super League defending champions KB will take on either Chikwawa United or Mangochi Challengers. n