National Football Referees Association (NFRA) says unless Super League of Malawi (Sulom) takes a disciplinary action against Red Lions they will be boycotting their games.
The threat comes after the Zomba-based Malawi Defence Force side reportedly beat up NFRA treasurer Chalvin Ngolanga after losing 1-0 to Silver Strikers in a TNM Super League match two weeks ago at Chiwembe Stadium in Blantyre.
According to NFRA, Ngolanga was trying to prevent Lions players and officials from beating referee Evidence Kananji and his assistants Happiness Mbandambanda and Clement Kamwendo after the game.
The army side accused the match officials of bias.
In an interview yesterday, NFRA general secretary Chris Kalichero, said: “If Sulom will not take a disciplinary action against Red Lions, we are not going to allow our referees to officiate their games. What they [Lions] did was deplorable and unfortunate.”
Reacting to the threat yesterday, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they are yet to get information on the issue, but he appealed for dialogue.
He said: “As a league, we rely on contact and dialogue, but they need to furnish us with details of the incident for us to act accordingly. However, we condemn Red Lions for their unsportsmanship behaviour.”
On his part, Southern Region Referees Association chairperson Emmanuel Mlauzi faulted Sulom for downplaying the issue.
“We gave them [Sulom] reports through their representative as a matter of procedure and we trust that he submitted the reports to relevant authorities. But up to now there’s no response from Sulom,” he said.
Kalichero also said it was surprising that Sulom claims not to have received the report.
“It is procedural for us to send them match reports after every game, especially when a game ends up with such kind of incidents,” he said.
In an interview yesterday, Lions vice-general secretary Captain Dave Gondwe apologised for the incident, saying it did not reflect well on the team’s discipline.
“It’s unfortunate that the game ended like that. We would like to assure the referees that this will never happen again. Our apologies to the referees body,” he said.