Sulom and government have said Sunday’s derby between old-age rivals Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers will provide a litmus test to the fans over their conduct if Kamuzu Stadium is to remain open.
The flagship league governing body’s statement comes in the wake of Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana’s warning that government will not hesitate to close the stadium should the fans not adhere to the directive not to descend upon the cordoned-off areas.
Stakeholders that included Sulom, government, clubs and security personnel met on Tuesday at the stadium where they came up with security measures.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said: “The game on Sunday will provide a litmus test to the fans and clubs on whether they want the stadium to remain open.
“The fans need to take a firm line and conduct themselves in a proper manner. That was discussed at length during the meeting we had.”
Banda also justified the hiking of gate charges, saying it is one way of controlling the crowd.
“Adequate security manpower will be deployed including police and stewards. We have also put up a ‘send a thief to catch a thief’ strategy by engaging the supporters,” he said.
Banda warned that any fan invading or tampering with the cordoned-off areas will be arrested.
“There will also be a pre-sale of tickets on Friday and Saturday at designated areas to be announced in due course,” said Banda.
Kamuzu Stadium manager, Charles Mhango, said following the cordoning-off, the stadium’s capacity has been reduced to 16 500.
Fans will pay K500 (about $1.4) in the open stands, K1 000 (about $3) MBC Stand, K2 000 (about $5) Covered Stands and a seat in the comfort of the VIP enclosure will cost K3 000 (about $8).
Both Bullets and Wanderers have since said they are engaging their fans to ensure that there should be tight security.