Kamuzu Barracks (KB) FC want the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to keep the identities of the match officials for their Fisd Challenge Cup final against Be Forward Wanderers under wraps until the match day tomorrow to prevent the possibilities of match-fixing.
KB team manager Francis Nthukwa Shawa said yesterday they have information that their opponents were asking for match officials’ identities.
“In the spirit of fairplay, we are asking FAM not to disclose the referee’s identity until on the match day at the pre-match meeting because we have information that our friends [Wanderers] have been inquiring on the same.
“And should FAM choose a referee that we are suspicious of, we will protest and demand that they change. Otherwise, FAM will have to find another team to play in the finals,” said Shawa.
However, reacting to Shawa’s claims, the Nomads’ general secretary Mike Butao described them as “utter rabbish.”
“What I can say is that I hope it is just part of mind games, otherwise I wouldn’t want to dignify such claims by responding. All I can say though is that Shawa will rant and rave. He is a desperate man, he is a friend and I fear for his health.
“That is why losing finalists usually get half the winner’s prize money. Winning the finals is unchartered waters for him, it is a different kettle of fish altogether, it’s for big boys, ndi za ma biggie izi,” he said.
The Nomads GS also said they wouldn’t mind FAM disclosing the referee’s identity to Shawa only.
“We did not assemble such a fantastic squad just to buy referees, we are not that cheap.”
FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka yesterday assured that the match officials will only be unveiled on the match day.
Meanwhile, sponsors of the tournament Fisd Limited’s brands manager Maxwell Phiri and Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s press officer Pilirani Phiri have confirmed that the veep will grace the match at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Said Phiri: “The Veep has said he will grace the match. The Minister [of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development] Hon. Henry Mussa will also be there.”
The sponsors set the hype of the inaugural finals by paying a courtesy call on the mayor of Lilongwe City Willie Chapondera at the Civic Offices where they showed him the trophy.
“Tomorrow [today], we are stepping up the hype with a street carnival that will be spiced by several artists, in particular Lulu and Mathumela Band. It will start at Area 23 tank and it will move around the whole town and the ending point will be Kamuzu Institute for Sports [KIS]. This will be part of the cup parade and we will distribute golf shirts, T-shirts and caps’, among other things.
“We have also hired helicopters that will fly at a low level and will stop in some areas such as Sungwi, Malangalanga and KIS and then the climax will be on Saturday at the stadium where Lulu will also perform as well as other artists before the final match. There will also be gymastics performances by Malawi Defence Force [MDF] solfdiers. We expect the gates to open at 9am,” he said.