The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has said it is planning to engage the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to probe referees following complaints of biased officiation from clubs.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said this in the wake of a complaint lodged by rookies Chitipa United over officiation in both their weekend games against PremierBet Wizards and Blantyre United.
Chitipa lost to Wizards 2-0 on Saturday before suffering a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of United at the same venue the following day.
“Poor officiation has been registered in Mulanje and Chitipa has lodged a complaint against biased officiation in both their games.
“I believe it is time we explored the possibilities of getting call logs of match officials to probe match-fixing. We are looking at entering into a partnership with the ACB,” said Banda yesterday.
“If we could get call logs for team officials and referees from the date the league started, it will help.”
The Sulom GS also said they are investigating claims that the set of referees which officiated the Wizards versus Chitipa game were also assigned for Sunday’ match.
“If the claims are true, then it is very strange. We will investigate and discuss with the National Football Referees Committee [NFRC] considering that we prepared them logistically with transport for both days,” he said.
However, NFRC GS Chris Kalichelo hit out at his Sulom counterpart, accusing him of making sensational allegations.
“What he [Banda] is insinuating is that there was some sort of match-fixing when he does not even have evidence and that can be dangerous.
“He shouldn’t be emotional. Just because a Chitipa official complained that there was biased officiation does not mean that it should be taken as gospel truth.
“There is need for critical analysis first based on facts other than just jumping to conclusions. In fact, in almost all the matches that have been played, there have been complaints against officiation, but have they [Sulom] tried to find out whether it is just about teams trying to find a scapegoat or that referees indeed failed to take a firm line?” he wondered.
Kalichelo reiterated the need to train clubs’ technical officials on the laws of the game, saying sometimes complaints come out of ignorance.
“They [Sulom] need to build capacity of officials on the laws of the game,” he said.