The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander Henry Odillo has ordered all TNM Super League Army teams to desist from indiscipline next season or risk unspecified action.
MDF sports officer Warrant Officer Class One John Kaputa on Wednesday said Odillo made the order at Kamuzu Barracks on Monday when he met Red Lions, Moyale Barracks, Mafco and Kamuzu Barracks to review their last season’s performances, preparations for the next campaign and disciplinary issues among the teams.
“We reviewed general performance. Red Lions finished fifth, Moyale eighth, Mafco 10th and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) 12th. Each team made presentations. We talked about each team’s weaknesses and how they can improve. On discipline, we resolved that this season, our players must behave,” Kaputa said.
Last season, Moyale goalkeeper McDonald Harawa beat up referee Sam Mangansanja and assistant referee Kelvin Ngolanga. Super League of Malawi (Sulom) suspended the goalkeeper for six months. Moyale also were earlier banned from playing at Mzuzu Stadium after crowd trouble.
Lions’ fans also were accused of roughing up Silver Strikers players in Zomba. Kamuzu Barracks fans also were accused of assaulting their Epac FC counterparts, but there was no evidence for Sulom that they were punished. Civilian teams such as Big Bullets, Silver Strikers and Mighty Wanderers too contributed to the violence and hooliganism leading to eight cases last season.
Kaputa could not disclose the consequences of undermining the order, saying: “I do not think they will fail to do it. After all, it is coming from the big boss, the Army Commander. It is up to the teams to abide by this. We want fans to watch Army teams’ games without fear.”
Kamuzu Barracks general secretary Dickson Mtontholo confirmed that Odillo called for an end to indiscipline among Army teams. Mafco coach Stereo Gondwe, his Red Lions’ and Moyale’s counterparts Collins Nkuna and Temwa Msuku described the deliberations as confidential.
Mtontholo explained: “The commander wants us to be exemplary. We thus plead with the football fraternity to treat our players like the rest.”
Odillo wants to turn the Army into an institution that produces top athletes.
MDF has recruited top athletes such as lawn tennis player Patricia Matola, footballers McDonald Harawa, Loti Chawinga, Andrew and Gastin Simkonda, Loti Chawinga, boxers Wilson Masamba and Osgood Kayuni.