Appalled by violence that marred the FDH Bank Cup quarter-final between Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe a week ago, Ministry of Youth and Sports on Friday summoned stakeholders to a meeting.
The meeting, held in Lilongwe at the ministry headquarters, drew Football Association of Malawi (FAM), Malawi National Council of Sports and Malawi Police Service.
The ministry’s director of sports Jameson Ndalama confirmed the development, saying the Ministry of Sports was shocked by the incident which have a potential to scare away sponsors.
He said: “We wanted to find out from stakeholders why there is sudden surge in violence and find a lasting solution. Sports venues should not be places where people risk losing lives. That is not sport.”
Ndalama kept a tight lid on the deliberations during the meeting, saying a joint press statement will be issued by the stakeholders.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda also confirmed the meeting which was also attended by stadium owners and club representatives.
“It was an important meeting as it explored how we can combat the vice which is threatening our game. We thank the ministry for calling the meeting,” he said.
The violence at Silver Stadium left several Nyasa Big Bullets supporters and officials with various injuries.
The Silver Stadium incident was an alleged retaliation against Bullets fans for targeting Silver supporters and officials at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre during a TNM Super League match between the two sides in June.
FAM has since charged both Silver and Bullets with counts of misconduct.
Bullets chief executive officer (CEO) Suzgo Nyirenda has also been charged with misconduct.
In a letter dated August 25 2021, FAM accuses the Reserve Bank of Malawi-sponsored outfit’s supporters and players of insulting FAM and match officials.
The Central Bankers’ supporters are also accused of beating up Bullets officials, including director responsible for supporters Stone Mwamadi, who is also the team’s supporters committee chairperson and secretary Mabvuto Chibambo.
Silver are further accused of beating up FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka and sprinkling urine on Nyasa Big Bullets players and team officials at half time.
Gunda said disciplinary proceedings will go ahead, regardless of the outcome of the stakeholders’ meeting.
He said: “This meeting was very crucial. But it doesn’t replace the disciplinary process.”
Meanwhile, Bullets have extended an olive branch to Silver to avoid further retaliation to the violence.
“We are ready to meet your leadership including supporters anytime and find amicable solution that will bring peace to our beautiful game,” Bullets CEO Nyirenda wrote Silver.