Newly crowned TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets will not be part of Airtel Top 8 tournament next season as part of their punishment for causing violence after losing to Blue Eagles in the final in June this year.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has confirmed that Bullets have been disqualified and replaced by Super League rookies TN Stars who finished on ninth position in the just-ended Super League.
Jabber Alide, who is FAM legal advisor and chairperson responsible for competitions, yesterday said that since Airtel Top 8 requires top eight teams, hence the decision to incorporate TN Stars.
“It’s true that Bullets are ineligible to participate in the tournament next year after being banned. We have incorporated the team that finished ninth and that is TN Stars.
“This has been the case because as it is we haven’t got an appeal from Bullets following their request to be considered,” he said.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya could not be reached, but administration director Albert Chigoga was not in a position to comment.
“I will comment on our position on the issue later,” he said, but failed to do so at press time.
Meanwhile, TN Stars have applauded FAM for letting justice to prevail.
“FAM has set a precedent by sticking to their ruling in relation to the violence that ensued during the Airtel Top 8 incident. That’s the way things are supposed to work. As for us, it is great news to take part in the Airtel Top 8,” said, TN Stars chairperson Jones Banda.
Defending champions Blue Eagles will also not defend their title after failing to finish in the in the top eight 2018 TNM Super League.
TN Stars have finished on 36 points one ahead of Azam Tigers who are on 10th position.
In July, FAM disciplinary committee banned Bullets from playing in the 2019 edition of the Airtel Top 8 and Bullets were also slapped with a K7.2 million fine following the violence that erupted after the Airtel Top 8 final against Blue Eagles at Bingu National Stadium.