Four days after the Airtel Top 8 final ended in violence at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is yet to charge on pepetrators of the incident that brought football into disrepute.
Some Nyasa Big Bullets players, fans and officials were seen beating up referee Mischeck Juwa after the final whistle while others threw objects on the pitch in protest against a late penalty awarded to eventual winners Blue Eagles.
Most of the incidents were captured by local television stations that beamed the grand final live.
A footage of Bullets players beating up Juwa and fierce battles between the club’s prominent supporters and police, is circulating on social media.
But FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said they were still collecting reports from various stakeholders before charging Bullets, despite regulations setting a 48 hour period for all stakeholders to submit the reports.
He said: “Of course, the regulations stipulate that reports must be in within 48 hours. But for an incident like this, we need detailed reports and not the superficial ones they submit when the match ends peacefully.
“Normally, we do not need reports from police and stadium owners. But when there are such incidents like what happened on Sunday, we also demand that they submit their reports for the sake of damages involved and security details.”
However, the GS said they would like the disciplinary committee to convene this weekend and conclude the case.
“We should be able to charge them [Bullets] on Thursday [today] and let them respond to the charges so that the disciplinary committee can meet this weekend,” he said.
“We do not want to be seen to be failing to solve disciplinary cases more especially ones on violence and hooliganism. That gives the FA a very bad image.”
Sponsors Airtel Malawi managing director Charles Kamoto already condemned the violence, saying it is against the brand’s values.
Bullets yesterday issued a statement in which although it condemns the violence, it does not indicate disciplinary action to be taken on those who were caught on camera perpetrating the violence.
Instead, the statement signed by the club’s president Konrad Buckle blames the violence on a poor decision by the referee to award the controversial penalty.
“It is our view that this incident was avoidable had the FA taken precautions prior to the match by identifying and allocation competent officiating personnel,” reads the statement in part.
But the club undertakes to help FAM and police to ‘look at the [video clips and identify what caused the mayhem’.
When asked what action the club would take against those involved, Buckle referred the matter to his personal assistant Kelvin Moyo.
“He knows my stance and he will tell you,” he said.
But Moyo also avoided the issue and said: “The president is of the view that what we need is to investigate what prompted the entire fracas and whoever caused it should face the law,” he said.