4 referees banned for life


National Referees Association (NRA) has banned Grade One referee George Aziz Nyirenda and his three colleagues for life after they were allegedly found guilty of match-fixing.

NRA General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, confirmed on Monday that they meted out stiff punishment to Nyirenda, Limbani Chisambi, Stephano Gomani and Jimmy Phiri (Grade Two) because match-fixing “brings the game of football into total disrepute”.

“The hearing we had on September 23 clarified that the issue of match-fixing is a serious offence, and it is one of the things that are degrading football in the country and the world.


“And the Disciplinary Committee [of NRA] thought it wise to do so [banning the referees] as a means of wiping out this shame once and for all,” Kalichero said.

NRA has issued the ban a month after Northern Region Referees Committee (NRRC) suspended the referees on allegations that they pocketed K15,000 from Nchalo United to influence their round-of-32 Carlsberg Cup game against Chitipa United played at Mzuzu Stadium.

Chitipa won the tie 3-2 on post-match penalties after it ended one-all in regulation time.


The loss prompted some Nchalo official to confront Nyirenda to return the money, but he allegedly only paid back K10, 000 and reportedly shared the remainder with a colleague—leaving out two others.

NRRC found all the referees guilty during a hearing held on July 22, before NRA picked up the matter, resulting in the ban.

Chisambi, who was the first assistant referee to Nyirenda during the game, on Monday confirmed his punishment.

“Yes, I was called by [Football Association of Malawi] Referees Development officer Mr [Maxwell] Mtonga Tuesday (Sunday). I am God-fearing and I feel dejected because I never took any share of the money. I refereed matches with passion and I am saddened to end up in this manner,” Chisambi lamented.

NRRC General Secretary, Clement Kanduku, has since described the ban as a big blow to the region’s refereeing community.

He, however, said the punishment should be a wake-up call to all referees.

“It is a big blow considering that it takes time to groom a referee who can handle big matches. It is a lesson to the rest. But teams also have to stop such acts because they are the ones that tempt referees,” he said.


  • In 2016, Nyirenda was also banned for two months for serious technical errors after failing to award Mafco a penalty in a game against Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium.
  • In 2014, Super League of Malawi recommended the punishment of Nyirenda for failing to stamp his authority in a game involving Silver Strikers and Moyale at Mzuzu Stadium.
  • Last year, referee Roy Williams was also banned for life over incompetence
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