Big Bullets and Flames self-styled lifetime chief supporter, Raphael Nasimba, has slammed modern generation of the Peopleâ€™s Team fans for getting wrong the concept of football support.
Switching allegiance to opposing teams and withdrawing into silence when chips are down are not marks of genuine supporters, Nasimba said on Saturday after Bulletsâ€™ 4-1 win over Bvumbwe Research at Kamuzu Stadium.
â€œThey just sit quietly in the terraces as if they are having a haircut. Thatâ€™s not the way. I will return to the terraces and show them how it is done. I will advise the Bullets chief supporter to identify 12 fans to beat up drums throughout a game. There has to be leaders in the terraces,â€ said Nasimba.
The veteran fan, who usually sits at the VIP Stand, said he wants a change in crowdâ€™s behaviour if Bullets is to win the TNM Super League. During the Saturday game, Bullets fans only cheered up their team when scoring.
â€œAs for the Flames game on Saturday, I am not advocating for free entries but there has to be a sacrifice. We have to subsidise the cost of gate entry fees for some 1 000 fans, assign them a particular stand to beat up drums throughout the match,â€ said Nasimba, who from 1970s to 1980s used to accompany the national team on sponsored foreign trips.
According to Nasimba, it becomes a challenge for a team to earn unwavering support when gate charges have been hiked as fans are reluctant to render blind support, hence vent their anger by switching sides.
Bullets top fan Frank â€˜Nyauâ€™ Msiska admitted that their support for Bullets and the national team is disjointed, attributing this to frustrations of poor results. Bullets last won the league title and any silverware in 2005.
â€œWe are reaching out to our supporters in zones, asking them to change attitude. The challenge we have with Bullets supporters is that they never turn up when called for meetings but only come for games,â€ said Msiska, adding that he was working with their Wanderersâ€™ counterparts to drum up support for the Flamesâ€™ World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.
College of Medicine psychologist Dr. Chiwoza Bandawe on Monday said switching allegiance to visiting teams has a psychological explanation derived from crowd behaviour in which fans lose their individual identity and assume group identity.
â€œThey seek a social identity; an identity to make them happy and proud; hence, they switch allegiance when the team is losing as a defence against frustrations and in defence against a team that is failing to satisfy their needs. It is difficult to reverse this in Malawi as there is no much interaction between the supporters and the teams. They only meet during matches. They need to hear out each othersâ€™ frustrations,â€ noted Bandawe.