Mighty Wanderers supporters reportedly kicked out Fellowship Association of Malawi (Fama) officials assigned to manage gate collections on Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
It was the only league game out of five where the April 1 2013 resolution to outsource the gate collection duty was rejected, Fama and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) officials confirmed.
Over 12 Fama officials, led by Japhet Majekete, had at some point to be locked in the stadium’s office for their safety, after angry fans protested their hiring.
“We wondered if this was about football. Some challenged that they would deal with us as they had bought minibuses and built houses using earnings from the gates. It is a pity,” Majekete narrated the ordeal.
Kamuzu Stadium manager Charles Mhango blamed it on failure by Nomads executive committee to communicate with their fans on the issue.
“After calling our superiors at the headquarters, we resolved to go by the old system while waiting for the matter to be resolved,” said Mhango.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda confirmed that the Wanderers/Epac match was managed using the old system that involves stadium cashiers and supporters.
“Clubs are failing to walk the talk on what was agreed to maximise gate takings. This is indiscipline and sabotaging corporate governance,” said Banda.
He said the Wanderers fans exhibited loss of corporate governance, which can cost the team’s good name. He, however, said should the Nomads fans continue the practice, Sulom will have no choice but to shift their games to stadiums where teams can earn enough to sustain their players, which is the essence of outsourcing the exercise.
Nomads supporters committee general secretary Felix Njaya blamed his executive for not communicating to the fans.
“This was only learnt during a pre-match meeting and the supporters got furious. It was difficult convincing the fans that the system had changed when they had already arrived for duty. Secondly, the fans wondered why people from Lilongwe were hired. They wondered if the whole of Blantyre has no competent people to be hired,” said Njaya.
But Banda said they outsourced the duty to the Lilongwe-based Fama as a way of teaching the Blantyre teams how it is done.
“Once it gains ground, we intend to engage Blantyre-based churches, banks or any registered groups with integrity. Our interest is to have the games outsourced irrespective of who or where one comes from,” explained Banda.
According to Banda, it was an oversight not to include a penalty for those that will refuse the new system, which is arresting those perpetrating the old system.
“Our plea to club chairpersons is that they must take the message to their people,” he said.
Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda said the Nomads did not want to be seen in conflict with their fans and that what was important was that they beat Epac.