Football Association of Malawi (FAM) disciplinary committee has slapped Willy Yabwanya-Phiri and Wilkins igaga with one-year suspension from any football related activities for taking football disputes to conventional court.
The committee, comprising chairperson Arthur Nanthuru, vice-chairperson Allison Mbang’ombe, Paula Caetano and Ted Roka has however, cleared Super League of Malawi (Sulom) treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda.
The trio was charged with the offence of taking disputes concerning football to the court of law contrary to article 68 of Fifa statutes and Article 47 of FAM statutes.
Mijiga, Yabwanya and Somba-Banda were accused of obtaining an injunction on December 11 2015 restraining the chairperson of FAM’s electoral committee and FAM from holding December 12 elections.
The disciplinary committee’s verdict states that Mijiga and Yabwanya-Phiri did not deny the charge, but rather argued that it is their constitutional right to seek court relief.
It further states that while Yabwanya argued that they were forced to seek court relief after FAM denied them the chance to be heard, Mijiga did not recognise the jurisdiction of the FAM disciplinary committee unless the High Court stated so.
However, the committee said there was evidence that Somba-Banda was not part of the injunction as indicated by lawyers Ritz Attorneys who represented Mijiga and Yabwanya-Phiri.
“On the strength of this letter, and in the absence of proof to the contrary, this committee is satisfied on a preponderance of probabilities that it is more probable than not that Mr. Tiya Somba-Banda never instructed Ritz Attorneys to take the matter to court.
“We are satisfied that the instructions that Mr. Somba-Banda gave to Ritz Attorneys did not extend to commencement of legal proceedings, but were limited to representation during proceedings before the FAM’s electoral organs. This committee thus finds him innocent and he is accordingly exonerated from any liability on the charge leveled against him,” the ruling, signed by FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda reads.
Commenting on the verdict Somba-Banda said he was relieved that the truth has sent him free.
“In any matter, standing by the truth and believing in God is very important,” he said. n