By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
Super League Champions Big Bullets will go head to head with Carlsberg Cup Champions Mighty Wanderers in the inaugural Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Chifundo Shield Cup on Saturday, 9th April 2016 at Civo Stadium to officially open the 2016 soccer season.
The Blantyre derby is the most exciting and anticipated sporting event in Malawi, with the two most decorated clubs in the country ready to battle it out for the bragging rights in just over a couple of days.
To them, there is no such a word like a ‘friendly’ match no wonder both camps have promised to bring smiles on the faces of their supporters.
Speaking to the media ahead of the showdown, representatives from both teams promised fireworks in Lilongwe but were quick to urge their supporters to patronize the event in order to donate blood and save people’s lives who are in need of blood.
“We are urging all Nomads fans to go and donate blood in the areas where Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) will be operating prior to the match. On preparations, we are ready for the showdown and it’s a privilege to play Big Bullets before the new season kicks off because it will give us a clear picture of how we have prepared for the new season,” said Wanderers Team Manager Steve Madeira.
On his part, Bullets’ Team Manager Rahim Ishmael pleaded with supporters from both teams to maintain peace during the match day because the day is meant to save lives for those in need of blood.
“We are urging all the supporters from both teams to maintain peace on the match day because we are all aiming to save lives through donating blood to the needy. Our executive committee will be the first to donate blood and the players will donate blood after the match. It’s very important for us to be part and parcel of this important event,” he said.
The teams’ Captains assured their fans of a massive showdown despite being a friendly match.
“We are ready for Bullets. The match will sharpen us before the new season kicks off. It’s a friendly match yes, but when it comes to this rivalry, there is no such a thing as a friendly match,” he said.
His opposite number, Chiukepo Msowoya, promised Bullets fans of a victory over their cross-town rivals.
The last time the two teams played each other at Civo Stadium was in a Carlsberg Cup final in which Wanderers won 2-1 against their neighbours.
Bullets will be hoping to avenge their cup loss against the Nomads last year whilst Wanderers will be hoping to avenge their back to back league defeats in the hands of the people’s team last season.
Both clubs are expected to use new players in the match. Gate revenue collected on the day will proceed to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) for the purchase of patients’ trolleys.
Chifundo Shield Cup is the first of its kind in Malawian football and is being organized by the FA.