At least five qualified teams from Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) League have been ruled out of this year’s Carlsberg Cup for failing to register on time, effectively missing the opportunity of competing for the K9 million (US$20 000) ultimate prize.
Rumphi Depot Stars, Ekwendeni United, Ekwendeni Hammers, Kawalazi FC and Chilumba United made it into regional stage of the knock-out competition by virtue of being among top-12 teams in the league’s Premier Division, but they missed on the list when the contest’s draw was conducted yesterday at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre.
Only seven teams OP FC, Chalaghala FC, Kaporo Stars, Chirumba Barracks, Rumphi Medicals, Kabwafu FC and Karonga United went into a draw for fixtures that will produce three teams to join TNM Super League teams for a national draw on June 23 alongside their Central and Southern Region counterparts.
According to NRFA general secretary Alfred Gunda, most of the teams confessed that they had no capacity to raise K20 000 participation costs for the K30 million competition and the association’s K35 000 affiliation fee.
“Rumphi Depot could not commit themselves as they seem to have disbanded while Ekwendeni United said their financial status was not good. The other three had not yet communicated to us on their stand before the draw was conducted,” said Gunda.
Speaking during the draw of the Carlsberg Cup regional encounters yesterday, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka said it was a big setback for the region to miss the contest, “but we could not give them grace period as we follow a strict calendar”.
However, Carlsberg Malawi’s events coordinator Jibu Nyirenda said they are looking forward to a wonderful and violent free competition.
Zakazaka said the regional encounters are expected to conclude within the next three weeks.