Age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers yesterday set out on a flurry of mind games ahead of Saturday’s Airtel Top 8 final scheduled for Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The People’s Team, who are the defending champions, set the tone by calling on their fans to throng the giant stadium for an early Christmas party.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said: “I urge our supporters to come and witness the conclusion of one ofour most successful seasons in recent times.
“We have beaten neba three times this season and while we feel pity for them, one more time wouldn’t be a harm.
“After all, neba has already come to terms with the fact that we are miles ahead of them.
“We are champions of this competition and we are geared to send an early Christmas gift to our supporters by retaining it.”
On his part, the Nomads spokesperson Clement Stambuli said it will be payback time for their rivals.
He said: “Asathe mawu. Apeza polekera. [They shouldn’t talk much, they will be silenced]. I urge our fans to come and witness men being separated from boys.
“They [Bullets] have had their time in the sun, but it’s time to put them in their right place.”
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has announced that entry tickets for the showdown have hit the market.
A statement from the association says the process started yesterday in the capital city and will run up to Friday.
Reads the statement in part: “Besides reducing congestion at the gates and safeguarding revenue, advance ticketing affords the fans the opportunity to purchase the tickets at their own convenient time.”
An advance standard ticket is selling at K2 000 while on match day it will fetch K3 000.
A seat in the comfort of the VIP enclosure has been pegged at K8 000 while on match day it will be selling at K10 000.
Corporate box has been pegged at K100 000 for 10 people while on match day it will be at K150 000.
“Tickets are competitively priced to make them more affordable to most of the fans and discount incentives have been offered on all tickets bought in advance, thus guaranteeing some savings to the fans during this festive season,” the statement further reads.
In an interview yesterday, FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola said gates will be opened at 9am and kick off is at 2.30pm.
He could not be drawn to comment on how much they are targeting from the derby, saying: “We have not yet touched on that yet.”
The ticket sales outlets in Lilongwe are Area 25 Chipiku, Acres at Gateway Mall; Kanengo Puma, Area 18 Puma, City Centre Puma, Likuni Engen, Maula Puma, Mbowe Puma, Kafoteka, Kawale Engen and Area 23 service stations.
In Blantyre, the sales outlets are Dalton Road Total opposite Limbe Market, Ndirande Engen, Blantyre Haile Selassie Road Total and Kameza Puma service stations.
FAM also stated that extra measures are being taken to step up safety and security of players, fans and property.
Reads the statement: “Additional private security firms will be engaged to support the efforts of police and stewards.
“In collaboration with Bingu National Stadium management we are [also] exploring options to increase access points [gates] into the stadium.
“We will open an additional gate for motor vehicles coming through the Mtandire side and two additional access points for the fans. This means that access points for entry and exit will be doubled, effectively reducing congestion and safeguarding life.”