- Chiukepo cleared of beating up ref Juba
Nyasa Big Bullets striker Chiukepo Msowoya has been exonerated by referee Misheck Juba that he never laid a hand on the match official during the fracas that erupted after Airtel Top 8 final last Sunday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
In footage of the fracas, the Flames striker is adjudged to have been in the forefront attacking Juba, soon after the final whistle.
However, the referee has cleared Chiukepo, saying the player actually shielded him from the raining brawls.
However, Juba in his report has singled out midfielder Mike Mkwate and defender Miracle Gabeya as the assailants.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya, director of supporters Stone Mwamadi, Fanny Soko and William Chiuzeni have also been charged for their role in the fracas.
In total, FAM has charged Bullets on six counts, according to a statement signed by general secretary Alfred Gunda.
The People’s Team has been charged with failing to control supporters, pitch Invasion, beating and bullying referee, criticising match officials in public, inciting violence and bringing the game of football into disrepute.
“On the said date, Nyasa Big Bullets FC failed to prevent their players namely; Mike Mkwate and Miracle Gabeya; supporter Martin Kaunda and unidentified supporters from beating or bullying of the match referee Misheck Juba contrary to Article 24.12 of the 2018 Airtel Top 8 rules and regulations.
“NMC Big Bullets through its press release dated July 4 2018 publically criticised match officials involved in the final game contrary to Article 24.13 of the Airtel Top 8 competition rules and regulations.
“On the said date Nyasa Big Bullets FC failed to prevent their supporters from inciting violence which led to missiles being thrown, delay of the trophy and medal presentation ceremony and the damage of property at Bingu National Stadium contrary to Article 24.18 of the 2018 Airtel Top 8 rules and regulations.
“On the said date, the actions of NMC Big Bullets FC officials and supporters brought the game into disrepute through pitch invasion bullying the match referee, damage to property within and outside the precincts of the Bingu National Stadium, inciting violence, team misconduct and spectator misconduct contrary to Article 24.21 of the 2018 Airtel Top 8 rules and regulations,” reads the statement in part.
Bullets were given 48 hours to respond to the charges as we went to press.
But in statement released on Thursday, Bullets denied responsibility and blamed Juba for the fracas.
“It is our view that this incident was avoidable had the FA taken precautions prior to the match by identifying and allocating competent officiating personnel,” read the statement in part.
However, the club condemned the incident, saying it was against the people’s Team ethos.
“Violence goes against what we stand for as People’s Team. It also tarnishes the reputation of the club and the millions of well-mannered supporters who make up the Nyasa Big Bullets family,” reads the statement.