Evirom and Red Lions did not meet Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) precondition to pay fines before their Carlsberg Cup quarter-final encounter on Wednesday.
The two teams were slapped with a joint fine amounting to K534 000 (US$1 663)to meet costs of security, officiation and renovations on the damages that occurred as a result of the violence during their abandoned match at the same venue last Friday.
The Reds were fined an extra K200 000 (US$623) after being found guilty of abuse of power following the decision to bring extra soldiers to join the fracas.
However, FAM competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka on Wednesday confirmed that the two teams did not meet the precondition.
“We still allowed them to play on the understanding that they would pay the fines later, but if they don’t then as for Red Lions, we’ll get it from their prize money as they are already assured of K500 000 (US$1 557) prize money for making it to the semi-finals.
“As for Evirom, we are planning to be deducting a certain percentage from their share of gate collections in Super League games,” said Zakazaka.
But Evirom’s director Emmanuel Viola and Lions’ general secretary Captain Martin Mlowoka said they could not pay the fines because there were some issues that needed to be clarified.
Viola said he made his position clear when he met FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda and Zakazaka that he could not afford to pay the fines because he had reservations on the outcome of the issue.
“Nyirenda and Zakazaka came to my office and I told them point blank that I could not meet the expenses of staging the replay [as ordered by the tournament’s organising committee] and that if anything, they could as well award the match to Red Lions.
“I explained to them that my team does not have a fan base and, therefore, it was unfortunate to punish us for mistakes done by other people. Even during the pre-match meeting, we made it absolutely clear that we could not pay the fine and we asked them to make a decision there and then.
“So, if they are saying they will collect the fines by deducting our gate collections then that is pure theft because my team depends on the meagre gate collections for operations,” said Viola.
He also reiterated that his team accepted to play Red Lions just to fulfil the fixture.
“And that is why we conceded a deluge of goals,” he said.
In their ruling FAM admitted that “the fracas to some extent, fuelled by external forces, other than Evirom and Red Lions [civilian team followers] are bitter with previous behaviours of army teams as well as their recent emergence as powerhouses in local football,” part of the statement released by FAM reads.
Mlowoka said his team could not pay the fine because of two reasons.
“Firstly, there was the issue of timing as the verdict was passed on Monday night and we needed to go through it before taking it up with the relevant authorities to guide us on the way forward.
“Secondly, we were not happy with the verdict and chances are that we might appeal,” said Mlowoka.