Flamboyant football fan Yona Malunga faces a ban for defying a Sulom order not to wear FAM elections campaign material during matches.
During Saturday’s TNM Super League match between Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets, Malunga wore a T-shirt bearing Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu’s image inscribed ‘Walter ayimanso’, which caused a fracas between the incumbent president’s followers and those of FAM vice-president James Mwenda, who is challenging his boss for the hot seat.
A source within the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) confided in The Nation yesterday that Malungawil be summoned to a disciplinary hearing and faces a ban for the rest of the season.
“He [Malunga] provoked the situation by defying the order and he will be summoned to explain his action.
Sulom general secretary (GS) Williams Banda also confirmed in an interview yesterday, that Malunga will be summoned.
He condemned the ugly scenes, saying all FAM presidential aspirants agreed to brief their supporters not to dress in any campaign material.
“And to that effect, they [aspirants] briefed their supporters on the same only to see Yona defying the order.
“ [During the match], the FAM president sent some people to tell Yona to remove the T-shirt and later on Yona called his brothers who caused havoc,” said the Sulom GS
“Sulom condemns this act in strongest terms. We will engage the parties for the best way forward for the betterment of Malawi football.
“Sulom respects the right of every aspiring candidate and will work with other key stakeholders for the integrity of the sport. “Sincere apologies to sponsors TNM, government and other VVIP that watched the game. Kindly note that Sulom will endeavour to ensure that football integrity is respected.”
He said all supporters were sensitised not to dress in campaign gear “and seems Yona did not get the information. However, he will be summoned”.
On his part, Malunga claimed that he was not aware of the order.
“Honestly, I only knew about it at the stadium and while I admit to have overreacted, it was all because of the hostile approach by members of the other camp.
“Nevertheless, I apologise to all those that were affected by the fracas and they should find a place in their hearts to forgive me. It was not by design,” he said.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said ignorance is no defence for Malunga.
“I think he is just trying to find a way out, otherwise he knew what he was doing,” he said.
The FAM polls are slated for December 15 in Mangochi and apart from Nyamilandu and Mwenda, others that have expressed interest for presidency are former FAM vice-president Moses Mkandawire, Karonga United chairperson Alufeyo Chipanga Banda and Balawala Vilunga.