Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) has given Tigresses goal-shooter Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya and Thunder Queens goalkeeper Joana Kachilika five-game suspension each for bringing the game into disrepute.
The two engaged in a brief fist-fight two weeks ago and were sent off during a Rainbow Paints SRNL encounter that Tigresses won 45-41 at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).
According to SRNL disciplinary committee chairperson Chimwemwe Bakali, the suspensions will come into effect at the start of the 2018 season.
“The suspensions could have been effective from the current season had the two not shown remorse and being apologetic during the hearing.
“They made a request to apologise to the netball fraternity over their unsporting behaviour as the 2017 netball season closes tomorrow [yesterday] ,” he said.
On top that, Bakali said the two senior national team players have been fined K5 000 each for being involved in a fight.
Kachilika has been fined an additional K2 500 for bad-mouthing the umpires, a development which according to the disciplinary body, could have taken away the safety of the public.
Tigresses and Thunder have as well been slapped with K10 000 fine apiece for failing to fulfil their responsibilities of controlling their players, as per the league’s rules and regulations.
Bakali said they also observed that umpires Masiye Chiphwanya, Stain Mang’anda and Joseph Banda did not take full control of the game as some foul play went unpunished.
“As such, we have referred the matter to the umpires committee to take an appropriate action and we have recommended a refresher course for the match officials during the off season break,” he said.
Both Simtowe-Msowoya and Kachilika could not be reached for comment yesterday
While accepting the punishment, Thunder coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji said the number of games is on the higher side.
“We have not met as a committee, but my personal preliminary observation is that the number of games should have been lower,” she said.
On her part, Tigresses team manager Hellene Mpinganjira-Tasosa said she could not comment until they find out how they came up with the punishments.
“I got the verdict yesterday [Friday], but I need to understand how they reached the decision before I can comment,” she said.