After the devastation of Cyclone Idai set back the planned kick off, Mozambique’s league season will finally get underway this weekend but another cyclone is threatening to disrupt at least one of the planned matches.
The 2019 Mocambola season was originally scheduled to start in March but had to be put back when Cyclone Idai caused massive death and destruction in the second largest city Beira and elsewhere in the north of the country, damaging stadiums.
Now Cyclone Kenneth is threatening the north of the country again with at least one game at risk of postponement.
Maputo club Costa do Sol could not fly to meet Baia de Pemba because the state airline had cancelled flights to Cabo Delgado province in the wake of the cyclone hitting the Mozambican coast on Friday.
But the rest of the fixtures should go ahead, according to Ananias Couana, president of the Mozambican Football League (LMF).
It follows a month-long bid to get facilities back up to scratch to enable the league to get underway and there is a symbolic start planned for Beira on Saturday.
Champions UD Songo will begin their bid for a third successive title by hosting Têxtil Púnguè in Beira on Saturday, moving the match some 800km from Songo to Estadio Chiveve in a symbolic gesture to “provide some joy to the people affected by the cyclone,” Couana said.
There will be no pre-match festivities, however. Just a mark of respect to the victims of Idai, described as one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.
It caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 900 people dead and thousands more injured.
The Estadio Nampula has also been found fit for use after the artificial pitch was repaired.
Home town favorites Ferroviário Nampula are hosting Desportivo Nacala on Saturday.
Another three clubs — Ferroviário Beira, Têxtil Púnguè and Textafrica from Chimoio — all had infrastructure damaged by the cyclone on 14 Match.