Mighty Wanderers have torn into two of the referees who officiated their TNM Super League match against Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday and want them punished.
The latest episode of the Blantyre derby was stopped in the 82nd minute when police fired tear gas to disperse alleged Nomads fans who were throwing objects on the pitch in protest against officiation.
At the time of calling off the game, the two teams were tied one-all.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Nomads state that referee Gift Chiko and one of his assistant referees Bernedette Kwimbira-Nzika failed to take a firm line on the match.
Reads part of the statement: “[We] regret the suspect decisions taken throughout the match by people tasked with handling the match namely referee Gift Chiko and assistant referee Bernedette Kwimbira.
“Their suspect and dubious decisions disrupted an otherwise good match and changed the fate of the game. It is sad when good football is not allowed to win on the pitch.
“We hope the football authorities will review such suspect decisions using video footage which is readily available and establish the root cause of such actions.”
Wanderers further claim that the officiating crew made extraordinary and inexplicable decisions.
“The officiation fell a long way short of the standard that should have been considered acceptable.
“We urge Sulom and FAM [Football Association of Malawi] to decisively act on these two [Chiko and Kwimbira-Nzika]. These dubious and suspect decisions are ruining the beautiful game. The officiating crew should not be found anywhere near football,” the statement further reads.
The Nomads say they will officially lodge a complaint to FAM and Sulom within the prescribed period as stipulated under the relevant statutes governing football in the country.
“We shall [also] complain to National Football Referees Association [NFRA].”
Wanderers further state that they will lodge a complaint to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) “if FAM and Sulom will not act against the two referees as we are gathering evidence from mobile phone service providers”.
The Nomads also condemned the acts of violence, saying: “These are not soccer loving people and have no place in our beautiful game. We hope and believe that those mandated with law enforcement will swiftly bring the perpetrators to book.”
However, Bullets blamed the Nomads for the ugly scenes at the stadium.
The People’s Team chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said: “The incident was unacceptable in the modern era of football. Football is a game governed by laws and when a team of Wanderers’ magnitude starts behaving with no civility simply because of a disallowed corner kick, it smacks of unsporting behaviour.”
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) vice-general secretary Zachariah Nyirenda told the media after the match that they will go through reports from various stakeholders and then determine the way forward.
He said: “Very disappointing. I will not waste my time pointing fingers at anyone. We will get reports from police, stewards, referees and teams, then we will sit down to analyse the reports and we will issue a statement.”
NFRA general secretary Chris Kalichelo yesterday said they will comment upon getting reports.
“We hear the situation was not good at Kamuzu Stadium. We will wait for reports from the match assessor and the referee and then take it up from there.
“But the officiating crew comprised some of the best in the country,” he said.