Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says it will tighten security at the Presidential Cup final between Nyasa Big Bullets and Moyale Barracks at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe this Saturday.
The association wants to ensure there is no repeat of last April’s Charity Cup match between Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers where counterfeit tickets were used to enter the stadium.
FAM commercial director Limbani Matola said the association is looking for a long-term solution to gate fraud.
“The issue of counterfeit tickets is a matter of concern to us as custodians of the game. Counterfeit tickets and the issue of fraud at our football stadia are counterproductive to our commercialisation drive.
“Anybody involved in these vices is an enemy of the game. As FAM, we are currently working on a lasting solution. We just advertised for proposals for ticket and gate management system and our call received overwhelming response. Very reputable organisations, both in Malawi and abroad, have submitted proposals,” he said.
Matola said they are on alert to avoid a repeat of the Charity Cup when some unscrupulous people printed counterfeit tickets.
A report from Malawi Police Service (MPS) implicated some football administrators. FAM instituted a commission of inquiry whose findings are yet to be made public, but reports indicate the officials involved were quietly banned from gate management.
Matola said: “For the Presidential Cup final this Saturday, we have put in very tight security systems. The police will be at their highest alert and will not hesitate to apprehend any suspect regardless of their status in society. In addition, the company managing the gates will not compromise as they have included the use of security dogs in their strategy. We are, therefore , assuring all football loving Malawians that the system that has been put in place, is the best of its kind.”
Bullets acting general secretary Kelvin Moyo said he hoped FAM learnt a lesson from the Charity Cup incident.
“That [incident] should never happen again.” he said.
Meanwhile, FAM has slashed charges for the final.
The association announced at the beginning of the season that they had hiked gate charges for all cup finals from K1 000 to K2 000 for open stands.
But FAM competition manager Gomezgani Zakazaka said as part of independence celebrations, the association has pegged open stands charges at K1 000 while those for the covered stand and VIP are at K3 000 and K5 000 respectively.