Be Forward Wanderers want Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to let the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Fiscal Police investigate the ‘missing’ K4.7 million from their Airtel Top 8 semi-final match against Nyasa Big Bullets last Saturday at Bingu National Stadium (BNS).
This follows the production of different revenue sheets, one indicating K39.3 million gross and another showing K44 million.
Nomads’ chairperson Gift Mkandawire yesterday said as a main stakeholder, they want ACB and Fiscal Police to intervene on the matter.
“It [the issue] might look small, but behind the scenes there could be more to this. To us this is a substantial amount and you never know for how long this has been happening and how much we might have lost.
“So, we would want the highest authority to intervene, in this case ,the ACB or Fiscal Police. They need to come in and investigate and clamp down on the culprits because the main victims are us, the clubs,” he said.
The Nomads boss said the only way out is to do away with handling of cash.
“We need to have a system that works such as e-ticketing [because] handling of cash is what is causing all these problems and that is why we fully support purchasing of tickets through Airtel Money,” said Mkandawire, a view that was also shared by analyst Kaponda Nyasulu on Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s (ZBS) Soccer Show programme.
Another stakeholder, BNS operations manager Eric Ning’ang’a, said they were expecting to make more revenue considering the big turnout.
“There is a shortage of about K5 million which has not been explained up to now and it is a lot of money. Even K44 million, as far as I am concerned was not the money we should have made that day.
“So, someone has to explain and to me, FAM are the owners of the game. They are the ones who were organising tickets and they are are supposed to explain what happened that day,” he said.
“For the first time, the stadium was almost full. In the past, we could make K54 million, but for this particular match, we anticipated even more revenue.”
Analyst and former FAM general secretary (GS) Charles Nyirenda said: “Let them [FAM] take action and not just talk. Let Fiscal Police investigate the matter, otherwise nothing will come out because we have had cases of similar nature before and despite instituting investigations, nothing came up.”
However, asked on the progress of its investigations into the matter, FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola on Thursday said they would have a clear picture by close of business yesterday.
But in trying to clarify the issue on Wednesday through FAM Media Connect WhatsApp group, Matola said having been dissatisfied with the revenue realised, they asked for reports from service providers.
“People should appreciate that we are an aggrieved party and we are concerned. It is in our [including stakeholders] best interest to get to the bottom of the matter so that we apply corrective measures.
“The cash which was realised (K39.3 million] is below our expectations. We are making comparisons with previous games at the same venue which we sold tickets at much lesser prices. We are also making comparisons on attendance. The stadium, by the way, was not full to capacity, but there was a huge turnout in comparison to previous matches,” posted Matola.
Glory Gate Management, a firm which was arranged for the match has since distanced itself from the ‘missing’ money.
In an interview with our sister paper, The Nation, the firm through its director Gerald Mussa claimed to have uncovered the shortfall and raised the alarm after establishing that the money realised and the tickets were not tallying.
“The process was that a person would buy a ticket at a booth from a cashier [from a commercial bank]. They would then present the ticket at the entrance where upon verification, we [Glory Gate Management] would let them in. Our job as gate managers was to simply to redeem tickets sold for reconciliation purposes. We were not handling cash,” he said.