NAM and Tigresses have accepted Sports Council to arbitrate on the wrangle that occured during the aborted Presidential Cup finals last week.
Allegedly, the incident led to the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) instructing national netball coach Griffin Saenda to exclude Tigresses players from the squad that is preparing for forthcoming international engagements in Australia and New Zealand respectively.
Tigresses sought council intervention, but it transpired that, according to NAM constitution, an appeal is supposed to be heard by the association’s disciplinary body. This led to the council summoning the two parties to a meeting on Wednesday to seek their mandate to arbitrate on the issue.
Council executive secretary George Jana confirmed summoning the two parties, but elusive on the agenda of the meeting.
However, Jana said hearing of the matter, including Tigresses’ conduct and the subsequent exclusion of their players, is scheduled for later today and determination will be made thereafter.
NAM general secretary Carol Bapu and Tigresses team manager Hellene Mpinganjira confirmed allowing the council to arbitrate.
Asked whether NAM will accept should council determine that Tigresses players should be drafted into the Queens, Bapu said: “I cannot comment on that. Let us cross the bridge when we get there.”
Mpinganjira said they sought council’s intervention because NAM is an interested party.
“We felt that it would be akward for NAM to be both the accused and the judge at the same time,” she said.
Mpinganjira also said their grounds of appeal are that NAM erred in deducting four points when the rules of the competition clearly state that when a player tests pregnant, she is suspended and fined while her team loses two points and by 100 baskets.
“This translates to one game and not the four points that they wanted to deduct from us. Nowhere in the rules of NAM is it also stated that players belonging to a team that is accused of indiscipline shall be dropped from national duty. We also want NAM to come out clearly on the punishements because as it is, it is vague,” she argued.
A well-placed source confided to The Nation that during the hearing at council offices, NAM initially sent its secretariat officer Grace Thipha instead of the executive and the association’s treasurer Abigal Sharrif and an MTL Queens team doctor appeared later on, when Thipha had already offered apologies on behalf of Bapu and Sharrif who indicated that they would not make it to the meeting.
Tigresses players reportedly manhandled Sharrif during the aborted Presidential Cup finals for taking one of their players [Lorraine Ngwira] for pregnancy tests.