TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets are set to return as guests to the 2022 Cecafa Kagame Interclub Cup which will be held in Tanzania next month.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda said organisers of the competition, Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) informed him that they will invite Bullets for the regional tournament.
He said: “The Cecafa general secretary [Jamar Dahil] indeed indicated that they will be inviting Bullets for the 2022 tournament when I met him in Namibia. But I am yet to get the official invitation from them [Cecafa]. I have to check with them when they will send the invitation.”
Bullets chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said they also heard from the grapevine about the invitation, but nothing official is yet to materialise.
He said: “The invitation comes through FAM. So, we will have to wait for the association to get the communication.”
However, Nyirenda said once invited, the tournament will help the team prepare for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
He said: “The CAF Champions League first round will kick off in September. The Cecafa Kagame Cup will, therefore, be a good platform to prepare for the CAF Champions Leagues. Otherwise, playing the CAF Champions League without any international friendly matches is not on.”
If Bullets participate in the Kagame Cup, the TNM Super League champions will have a tight schedule as they are also participating in the league, FDH Bank Cup and Airtel Top 8.
Nyirenda said to avoid crammed fixtures, they need to work with Super League of Malawi and FAM once the invitation comes.
He said: “Last year, it was terrible because it was difficult to plan after the invitation came very late. This time, if we are invited we hope the invitation comes in time so that we can plan well.”
Last year, Bullets became the first Malawian team to reach the final at the tournament since 1983.
But it was a case of so near, yet so far for the People’s Team as they failed to bring the trophy home after losing to Ugandan champions Express FC 1-0.
Bullets made it to the final in style, maintaining an unbeaten run from the Group A.
They drew 1-1 against hosts Young Africans who came from behind after Bullets took the lead through Chiukepo Msowoya.
The People’s Team then came from behind to hold Express FC 1-1 through another Chiukepo goal.
They then made it to the semi-final after a 2-0 victory over South Sudan’s Atlabara through Nixon Nyasulu and Hassan Kajoke’s goals.
Bullets faced hosts Azam FC in the semis and the two sides tied 2-2 after regulation and extra time.
The dramatic semi-final was decided on post-match penalties which Bullets won 4-2.
The People’s Team’s qualification to the final also meant they became the first guest team to make it this far. Bullets left-back Yamikani Fodya scooped Player of the Tournament Award.