Scores of Mighty Be Forward Wanderers fans on Sunday stormed the team’s club house at Chichiri in Blantyre to protest the team’s poor start to the season, which culminated in a 2-3 loss to Mafco at Kamuzu Stadium.
This was after the angry fans stormed the dressing room premises at the stadium where they bayed for technical director Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana and goalkeeper Bester Phiri’s blood.
The Nomads executive committee reacted swiftly by summoning the Chamangwana-led technical panel to an emergency meeting yesterday which will be followed up by an executive committee meeting today.
The players were briefly detained at the stadium on the advice of security personnel and only left after the situation had calmed down.
Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao yesterday confirmed the fans’ protests, saying they have already taken the first step to address the team’s downward spiral.
“The poor results are unacceptable and the technical panel has to take the blame because we have the best squad in the league.
“I can, therefore, confirm the fans protests and they were justified considering the continued poor results. They were angry but not violent and we gave them an assurance that we will get to the bottom of the problem,” he said.
“After the meetings, the executive committee will determine the way forward.”
The Lali Lubani Road outfit slumped from fifth to 10th place in the TNM Super League following their loss to Mafco. They have six points from five games—12 short of leaders Blue Eagles.
However, Chamangwana, sounding ice-cool said such protests are expected from the fans whenever the team is not doing well.
“Of course, the fans are justified to stage protests because the team is not doing well.
“That happens at any big team and throughout my lengthy career I have gone through such tough situations which have helped me develop a thick skin. It’s part of the game,” said the Nomads legend who has also coached some of the big teams on the continent such as South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs and Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania.
He admitted that as a coach, he takes full responsibility of the results but ruled out the possibility of bowing down to pressure.
“As I said, it is one of those things and with time, we will sort them [problems]. I think the biggest problem is players’ attitude, their work rate is not up to scratch.
“But we have just had a meeting with them now and hopefully, fans will see change in the coming games. Having a star-studded team alone is not enough, the players need to work extra hard for results. Having players like Jabu [Linje], Peter [Wadabwa], [Amos] Bello, [Stanely] Sanudi and Jaffalie [Chande] is no guarantee that you will win games,” he said.
The team’s captain Francis Mlimbika also told the latest edition of the Weekend Nation that the players are lacking fighting spirit.
“We are not giving out 100 percent effort, we need to fight in every game if we are to catch up and eventually, overtake Eagles.
“We should not get discouraged but fight on. It’s still in the early days of the season and I am sure we can do it,” he said. n