Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda took advantage of the closing ceremony of the week-long Fifa/Caf Member Associations Elite Referees Course on Friday to preach love and unity among the referees.
Thirty-five referees passed the course that was facilitated by Fifa referees development officer for southern and eastern Africa Carlos Henriques. Nyirenda urged referees to refrain from backbiting and hatred.
â€œI have been in sports administration for six years and I have experienced a lot of bickering among you [referees]. If your friend makes a mistake, donâ€™t tell others, but approach them and offer a helping hand.
â€œIf you come to my office and tell me about the mistake your friend made when officiating a game, you only tarnish the image of your trade. This disease has to be dealt with immediately,â€ said Nyirenda before the referees received their certificates.
He also appealed to the referees to implement what they had learnt.
Henriques complemented Nyirendaâ€™s remarks, urging the referees to start performing better and concentrate on their work, rather than getting involved in match-fixing scandals.
National Referees Committee (NRC)) chairperson Patrick Kapanga said it is time referees preached unity.
â€œIt was good for the FAM CEO to say these words because it will help to instill the spirit of love in referees. However, I should say that backbiting is rampant in every organisation and it is not easy to control it,â€ said Kapanga.