In a pure case of justice delayed is justice denied, six months after Geoffrey Mwale lost his life following a fracas during a TNM Super League match between Surestream (now Fisd Wizards) and Red Lionds at Kamuzu Stadium, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) is yet to conclude the case.
“We are just waiting for the verdict from the arbitrators which we appointed. They met in September and actually the verdict has been delayed because their chairperson, Dan Magwela, was outside the country due to technical reasons from his work. But the arbitrators have promised to release the final verdict by next week Wednesday,” Banda said.
The Zomba-based soldiers are contesting Sulom appeals committee verdict that slashed the fines meted out to eight players but maintained their suspension.
The appeals committee slashed the fine from K3.6 million ($6,545) to K3.1 million ($5,636) but to date Lions are yet to pay the fine.
The soldiers took the matter with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) but they were sent back.
“We sent them back because the issue is supposed to be solved by Sulom’s arbitration committee,” FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said on Monday.
“But then, Sulom didn’t have an arbitration committee, so we advised them to appoint one and deal with the case.”
Nyirenda expressed surprise when told that the arbitration committee verdict was not yet out.
“I will have to check with Sulom to see what delayed the verdict,” he said.
The violence at Kamuzu Stadium started right on the pitch as Lions players assaulted referee Boniface Chapinga, and later a brawl with supporters ensued outside the stadium.
Lions were initially fined K450 000 ($818) as a club for failing to control their players, officials and supporters.
Eight players and their team doctor were each given a K350 000 ($7,000) fine.
Dickson Mbetewa and Lot Chawinga were banned from playing football under Sulom for 12 months while the other players got six-month ban which they will finish serving next month.
In their appeal, Lions are arguing that the determination was unfair, because of duplication of charges, lack of evidence to support the charges, abuse of discretion in that the determination was discriminatory since Lions are a military team.
Lions also argued that the verdict was in breach of rules of natural justice and that the punishment was excessive.