Carlsberg Cup sponsors Carlsberg Malawi Limited have condemned the violence that erupted at Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa on Friday, where Mafco and Nyasa Big Bullets players clashed, forcing Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to call off yesterday’s quarter-final fixture between the two sides.
Carlsberg brands manager (alcoholics) Twikale Chirwa said they were saddened by the incident.
“All along, the cup has been running smoothly, but this incident has threatend the image of the competition and the sponsors,” he said.
FAM called off the game due to security concerns, according to competitions sub-commitee chairperson Jabar Alide.
“FAM is extremely disappointed that this match is not going to be played as scheduled, but security of the players, officials and fans is always top priority.
“Be reminded that FAM does not condone any act of violence which erodes the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play and shakes the very foundations the game is built on. FAM has opened investigations on the matter and will duly communicate on the way forward as regards the fixture,” the letter reads in part.
Bullets captain Chiukepo Msowoya said the fracas started when they wanted access to the Chitowe ground for training.
“As per rules and regulations, the visiting team is allowed to train on the pitch a day before the game. But when we went to the ground, we were chased by Mafco players and supporters,” Msowoya said.
Goalkeeper Chimwemwe Kumkwawa, Niyikiza Aimable and Fischer Kondowe were assaulted.
But Mafco team manager David Gulaimfa denied that his team started the fracas.
“A Bullets player attacked a Mafco player and his teammates wanted to rescue him. Fischer was hit by a ball while Niyikiza threw bottles at our players,” he said.
However, FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka, who was at the scene, said Mafco started the fight.
“I explained to Mafco officials that per rules and regulations, Bullets were supposed to have a feel of the ground. They agreed. But later, it was the team manager (Gulaimfa) who ordered the players to disrupt Bullets training. I tried to reason with him, but he actually challenged that they would not allow Bullets to train on the pitch,” he said. n