It certainly never rains but pours for Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.
Barely days after being fined K650 000 ($890) for the fracas that occurred during their Carlsberg Cup semi-final match against Mangochi Police, the Nomads also face another disciplinary action for pitch invasion by their fans after Saturday’s final encounter against Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The Lali Lubani Road outfit was also slapped with a K300 000 fine for the violence that occurred during their quarter-final match of the same competition against Prison United.
Soon after goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa kept out Silver’s forward Mathews Sibale’s decisive spot-kick, some of the Nomads fans jumped the perimeter fence, leaving part of it dismantled, to celebrate their team’s victory.
Perimeter advertising boards were also damaged and live broadcast of the match was interrupted.
The Nomads vice-general secretary Chris Kananji made a down-to-earth admission that they expect a stern action from Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
“There is no way we can deny it. We are expecting something from FAM. [But considering the circumstances of the win], the fans could not be stopped [from invading the pitch]. The penalty shoot-out was nerve-shredding,” he told journalists after the match.
FAM general secretary (GS) Suzgo Nyirenda said they are waiting for reports from all relevant stakeholders before determining the way forward. He also said they will wait for stadium authorities to assess the damage.
“Both teams were advised in strongest terms during a pre-match meeting to caution their supporters against pitch invasion and they are aware of the consequences. They were forewarned,” he said.
The FAM GS also disclosed that government and the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) have demanded a report on the incident.
“After the match, both the PS [principal secretary] and the Sports Council executive director told me that they expect a report from us,” he said.
MNCS executive secretary George Jana confirmed the development, saying: “Yes it is true. We have asked for a report and we will be assessing damage as well.”
However, Nyirenda partly admitted that security personnel were to blame for failing to prevent the fans from invading the pitch.
“I would admit that there was a lapse in security because they should have planned for that. We hired 150 police officers, 50 soldiers from Malawi Defence Force [MDF] and 100 stewards and surely that was enough security.
“Nevertheless, that should not be an excuse for pitch invasion because the rules are clear. They should have drawn lessons from Nyasa Big Bullets who were also punished for a similar offence after the Presidential Cup final against Moyale Barracks,” he said.
According to the rules, pitch invasion carries a K500 000 fine.