Be Forward Wanderers has apologised to Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Women’s Ministries after one of the Nomads supporters wore Dorcas guild attire during a match between the Nomads and Azam Tigers on Saturday.
Pictures of the fan clad in the blue and white uniform and matching head-gear went viral on social media, sparking condemnation from some of members of the church.
SDA Women’s Ministries director Emily Egoret Banda also issued a statement, saying the action by the cross-dresser insulted and demeaned the SDA Church.
“In my personal capacity and as a director of Women’s Ministries in the SDA Church, on behalf of all Dorcas women in Malawi, I would like to register our serious disappointment and anger over this picture of a male Be Forward Wanderers supporter who wore the full Dorcas uniform to a football match yesterday [on Sunday].
“Our thinking was that football is a national game that attracts people of all religions, sex, race and tribe and, therefore, we think it would be only prudent if we respected each other. As SDA women, we feel this young man has insulted our dignity, has demeaned our faith and has generally insulted the SDA Church in Malawi. I do not understand the motive behind such an action but I must say we will not condone this,” reads in part the statement from Banda.
Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao said the club regretted the incident.
“We have noted the concerns from the SDA Church and we regret the negative vibes all this has generated. We wish to assure the SDA Church and all other churches in Malawi that the Wanderers family is an all-embracing family and we have supporters from all faith groups. We would never ever encourage or tolerate any act or behaviour that puts us in conflict with any faith or religion or indeed any grouping of any sort.
“We have the best behaved supporters in the country and we have already communicated to all supporters’ committees across the country to desist from and/or be on the lookout for anything that would be deemed offensive to individuals, organisations, faith groups, political parties or any other grouping.
“So even though we cannot control what happens in the stands, we can at least distance the club from any negative issues happening there that have not been sanctioned by the club. So we apologise to the SDA Church for this particular incident. We believe it was religiously insensitive and we believe the young man concerned has noted and regrets his mistake,” he said.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) also condemned the behaviour.
“I have talked to Mrs. Banda on the issue. I have assured her that we will talk to all TNM Super League clubs to tell their supporters to desist from such behaviour. It is unsporting and should be condemned in the strongest terms,” said Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda.