Big Bullets have torn into Football Association of Malawi (FAM) management accusing it of lacking seriousness in the running of the game.
The People’s Team also had no kind words for Kamuzu Barracks [KB] who they accused of turning their home ground—Dedza Stadium—into a ‘war zone’.
Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire was reacting to FAM competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka’s claims that BB fans threatened to deal with him for fixing the match at Dedza Stadium instead of a neutral venue. Bullets lost the game 1-0.
“I know that the fans were sent by a senior Bullets official because earlier on he confronted me on the same issue.
“There was nothing wrong with the game being played in Dedza because KB were supposed to be at home and, if anything, the venues are determined by the organising committee which is headed by the FAM president [Walter Nyamilandu]. If it were Bullets versus KB, would they [BB] have accepted to play at a neutral venue? They played Silver at Kamuzu Stadium, did Silver demand to play at a neutral venue? Now why all this fuss?
“There will always be resistance to change, but it is high time they [Bullets] moved with the times and ran the game professionally, this is 21st century. If they do not want to embrace change, then they should quit football administration, ”said Zakazaka.
The FAM official had to leave the stadium under police escort after the match.
However, Mkandawire denied Zakazaka’s claims, insisting that the fans only raised some concerns about him.
“The problem is that FAM management, in particular CEO Suzgo [Nyirenda], Casper [Jangale] and Gomezgani himself are becoming increasingly uncooperative, whenever we raise concerns, they do not care to look into them.
“These guys are not serious unlike their Sulom counterparts. So, as long as they continue acting funny, that is what they should expect. It is also high time that Gomezgani realised that he is no longer in the world of journalism and he is now in serious football administration.
“What happened in Dedza was one way of according him [Zakazaka] a special welcome and we are not done yet, that was just the start,” said Mkandawire.
The Bullets GS, supporters committee secretary Frank ‘Nyau’ Msiska and team manager Noel Kaole then took turns in accusing KB of applying all sorts of intimidation tactics in order to win the game.
Said Mkandawire: “That was not football, it was war. The stadium was turned into more or less of a barracks and that is why we wanted the game switched to a neutral venue.”
Msiska claimed that one of their supporters only identified as Mayi Soko was beaten up by KB officials and fans.
“We could also not access dressing room keys in time as the one we assigned to get the keys [Wisdom Shaibu] was chased from the premises and had to jump the wall fence as he fled to safety. They also poured water on our substitutes bench.
“With such kind of conduct, our football cannot develop,” said Msiska.
However, KB team manager Francis Shawa said it was Bullets fans and officials who tried to cause disorder at the stadium.
“They are just trying to find a scapegoat for their loss because there was nothing wrong that we did. They should just accept that our team is by far a better side.
“Their woman supporter they are talking about was not beaten. She was only confronted after she invaded the pitch and performed hood rituals which we found to be very strange in this modern age.
“As for the fan who they assigned to get dressing room keys, he was told to leave following an agreement during the pre-match meeting that no fan would be allowed to get close to the dressing rooms because they are the ones who cause confusion. There was nothing like intimidation. You were there at Dedza Stadium Garry, did you see any intimidation?” said Shawa.
He also hailed BB’s assistant coach Gerald Phiri Snr for accepting defeat with dignity.
“Gerald took the loss as a gentleman, he accepted defeat and did not try to find excuses like the others,” said Shawa.