In a dramatic twist to the Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) league dispute, FAM has changed its tune, saying Kaporo Stars cannot appeal against its disciplinary committee ruling to have the game replayed.
However, Kaporo have refused to give in, saying they will seek a court injunction restraining NRFA from rescheduling the game until all the necessary appeal procedures are exhausted.
Following Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) disciplinary committee ruling, Kaporo through their patron Alufeyo Chipanga said they would appeal to the association’s appeals committee against the ruling.
And FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda told The Nation last week that Kaporo were free to appeal provided they followed the necessary procedures, including paying the appeals fee.
But in a dramatic twist to the saga, in a letter from FAM signed by Nyirenda and addressed to the chairperson/GS of Kaporo, FAM states that the ruling made by the disciplinary committee is final.
“Please be reminded that the committee that was set up by FAM [disciplinary committee] was tasked to hear the appeal case and as such, the ruling that was made by this committee is final and binding,” reads part of the letter.
However, Chipanga yesterday said they have already instructed their lawyer to seek a court injunction.
“There is more to this case than meets the eye. When I first wrote the appeal letter, Mr. Nyirenda claimed that it did not reach him and that deadline for the appeal had elapsed.
“But I insisted that the mail I had sent to him indicated that it had gone through. Then surprisingly, three days ago, he wrote a letter saying the disciplinary committee’s decision was final and binding. This is not fair and we’ll not give up until justice is done,” said Chipanga.
In its appeal, Kaporo agreed with the disciplinary body’s observation that the referee who officiated the match under dispute which they won 1-0 was indeed not qualified, but argued that a number of games that were also officiated by unqualified referees should also be nullified and replayed.
The disciplinary committee recommended that the match should be played within seven days of the ruling [from March 31] at a neutral venue. FAM has since rescheduled the game to April 11.
At stake is the league’s championship as a win for Mzuni will mean they will pip Chilumba Barracks to the championship while a win for Kaporo or a draw will lead to the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) team being crowned champions.