By Grace Chingoma
Callisto Pasuwa and his Nyasa Bullets troops have received a clean bill of health following Covid-19 tests which were conducted ahead of the start of the Malawian top-flight league.
The league is scheduled to start on November 14, 2020, with the Ecobank-sponsored Charity Shield. It had been scheduled to start in March but was halted, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and will run up to July, 2021.
The Zimbabwean coach’s contract, which was set to expire end of January next year, is going to be renewed until the end of the season in July.
His current deal risked ending before he took charge of a single game, due to Covid-19 pandemic.
But, both parties hinted the veteran gaffer’s one-year contract was going to be renewed.
“All contractual issues will be handled in the way (that will make) the club, the players and officials happy.
“Plans are in place to engage the concerned individuals and agree on the extension of their contracts,” a Nyasa Bullets administrator told Malawian media.
Nyasa Big Bullets are desperate to keep the former Warriors coach in their stable.
At the beginning of the year, they sought to tie him to a long-term contract, but Pasuwa pressed for a shorter deal.
He is on the radar of many foreign clubs, including those in Zambia and South Africa.
The former DeMbare midfielder will be chasing a third straight league trophy, and his seventh in a row, when the league starts.
As part of the Football Association of Malawi requirements, in conjunction with the Malawi Presidential Task force on Covid-19, clubs are required to get tested before the resumption of football.
And, according to a statement, one Nyasa Big Bullets player, who previously tested positive while on national team duty with the Flames, has tested negative.
The rest of the players and coaching staff tested were negative.
“In compliance with the set protocols, Nyasa Big Bullets FC sent its nine coaching staff, 22 players, two media officials, and three first-team security officials for the Covid-19 test.
“The number of players and coaching staff who were tested excludes six players and one official, who are currently with the Malawi national team.
“Rabson Chiyenda, whose previous three tests conducted while he was in camp with the Malawi national team came out positive, is one of the players whose test results are now negative, at last.
“Our players and officials have been advised to remain steadfastly compliant with health and safety measures as the new football season is about to start,” read part of the statement.
There have been developments across the region, with regards to football’s return, after the Covid-19 break. South Africa and Malawi are currently preparing to begin fresh seasons.
In Botswana, the domestic football activities are likely to remain suspended until the start of next year. South Africa’s Premier Soccer League chairman, Irvin Khoza, announced last week that their new season will get underway with MTN8 on October 17.
The DStv Premiership will start on October 24. The local league is yet to get the green-light from the Government, which this week cleared the national team to travel to Malawi for an international friendly match against the Flames. Champions FC Platinum were also cleared to start training for next month’s CAF Champions League matches.
Football is expected to begin without fans and in Malawi the association has committed to cushioning the clubs.
“Since the league will start without fans, there will be a need for special funds to cater for referees and other match expenses, which are normally covered by gate revenue,’’ FAM general secretariat Alfred Gift Gunda, told Nyasa Times.
“So, this is why we have decided to allocate contingency money for this purpose to enable us to start football.” The Herald