Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is next week expected to release a verdict on the violence that marred the launch of Mighty Wanderers’ Be Forward sponsorship at Kamuzu Stadium last Sunday.
Violence erupted in the second-half of the match involving Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers and the game ended abruptly in the 74th minute, following the violence. Then the teams were drawing 1-1.
In an interview with Weekend Nation on Thursday, FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said they have received reports from the two clubs, referees and the match commissioner which they have submitted to the association’s legal sub-committee.
“Our legal team is working on the reports we received from the parties involved in the launch. It is yet to reach a verdict. Once that is done, it will give us direction on the way forward,” said Nyirenda.
“It is not like we are not doing anything on this issue. We do not condone violence as it does not only put the game of football in disrepute but also scares sponsors. We have to establish the culprits and make appropriate sentencing, but we are waiting for findings of our legal team,” he said.
Meanwhile, two suspects—Robert Bennet and John Dick—who were arrested during the fracas were granted bail on Wednesday by Blantyre senior resident magistrate Chikondi Mandala after being charged with ‘conducting in disorderly manner’. The two pleaded not guilty and the matter returns to the chamber on March 31 2015.
In a related development, Silver Strikers general secretary Mike Tembo has distanced the Bankers from the violence that occurred, saying it was not their fans who triggered the violence. The Bankers are blaming outsiders for the fracas.
“It is not Silver Strikers or Mighty Wanderers fans who trigged that violence. Outsiders ruined that launch. What is more painful is that the violence happened in front of Be Forward management. It portrays a bad picture of football in the country. FAM should really punish those responsible,” said Tembo.
“On our part, we will focus on disciplining our players in relation to the referee manhandling. We are meeting as an executive and we will also meet Lucky Malata to hear his side of the story. It was an unfortunate incident,” he said.
Sulom has already apologised to Be Forward and the Reserve Bank of Malawi for the violence and has promised to issue heavy punishment on those found in the wrong during Super League games.
“Violence and hooliganism have no place in football. The ugly scenes witnessed in Blantyre do not reflect the aspirations and spirit of soccer and peace-loving Malawians in which the game ought to be played and celebrated,” Sulom general secretary Williams Banda wrote in his apology to the stakeholders. n