—Minister accuses Sulom of being lenient with Reds
Youth Development and Sports Minister Grace Chiumia has described as soft the punishment given by the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) on Red Lions FC for the violence that occurred during their Super League match against Surestream FC.
Chiumia said this after visiting the victim of the violence, Geoffrey Mwale at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre, where he is in critical condition.
The minister told MBC Radio 2FM that the Zomba-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) outfit, deserved a stiff punishment than the K3.6 million (US$80 000) fine and the bans imposed on players.
“Here is an innocent young man battling for his life. He was beaten outside the stadium premises. The K3.6 million is not a fair punishment because they [Lions] can easily raise that.
“I wish if Sulom could revise the punishment and I will be taking up the matter with them and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) because as government, we are very concerned with the continued acts of violence at football matches. We are definitely going to do something about it,” Chiumia said.
However, Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda yesterday said while they understood the minister’s concerns, the punishments given to the Lions were the maximum they could give based on rules and regulations governing the league.
“We tried as much as possible to come up with the maximum punishments as for the other offences, they are beyond our scope because they are criminal in nature and for us to win the battle against violence, it has to be treated as public disorder as is the case in other countries, but we are ready to meet her because we are also concerned with the acts of violence because they bring the game into disrepute,” said Somba-Banda.
Meanwhile Dr. Patrick Kamalo has said Mwale’s condition deteriorated at the weekend when he developed fever.
“Our expectation was that his condition would improve, but he has now developed fever and is still unconscious. I would say his condition is quite critical,” Mwale told MBC.
He said Mwale suffered brain injuries after being beaten by alleged soldiers.