Blue Eagles Sisters face a fine for trying to boycott Airtel Money third-place play-off after claiming that Kukoma Diamonds, who beat the police side in the semi-finals, be disqualified for featuring a player who was pregnant.
According to Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu, Eagles refused to pitch up against Civo Nets on Saturday in a bid to persuade the association to suspend Diamonds and replace them with Eagles as finalists as they alleged that Diamonds captain Carol Mtukule-Ngwira was pregnant.
Netball rules stipulate that a pregnant player is not supposed to feature in matches.
After some discussions involving NAM and Eagles, the police side took to the Don Bosco court and went on to beat their cross-city rivals Civo Netsto emerge as third placed side. They pocketed K1.7 million.
Reacting to Eagles conduct, NAM president Rosy Chinunda described it as an embarrassment.
“It is a shame that they behaved like this. They provoked us, sponsors and everyone here,” she said, adding that Eagles will be summoned for a disciplinary hearing.
“If found guilty they will be fined. We have the punishments outlined in our constitution,” she said.
Chinunda accused Eagles of flouting procedures as they were supposed to issue a written complaint before the game.
“You have to lodge such complaints before the match and not just when it is about to kick off. The club knows that this is the way to present grievances,” she said.
During the finals, Diamonds went on to win the trophy by beating rivals Tigresses 40-37.
After being crowned champions, its players hit back at Blue Eagles by singing “Carol watiberekera mwana.”
As they sang, Mtukule-Ngwira who captained Diamonds put the trophy underneath her clothes to show a mock pregnancy.
In an interview later, Ngwira denied being pregnant : “ I am surprised that they cooked up this story. But anyway I am just pleased that we have won the title.”
Airtel corporate social responsibility manager Norah Chavula said they have left everything in the hands of NAM.
“We were surprised by the conduct of Eagles but that issue will be handled by NAM because they have their own rules of handling that,” she said. n