Azam Tigers may disband
The future of one of the country’s oldest football clubs, Azam Tigers, is in danger as two top officials are, due to poor officiation, contemplating disbanding the team.
However, Tigers’ reason is strange. All football clubs in the world would have become extinct by now if they disbanded due to poor officiation.
Tigers’ officials—Chairperson Sydney Chikoti and Technical Director Robin Alufandika,— spoke of pulling the plug on the team after getting frustrated by officiation during their 1-1 draw against Civil Sporting Club in Lilongwe on Sunday.
During the match at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe, Tigers took the lead through Bernard Palanda but Civil equalised through Innocent Tanganyika’s controversial spot-kick.
Speaking after the match, Alufandika said he was disappointed with officiation and warned that the team would disband if referees continued their conduct.
“I have been in football for a long time but I have never been this disappointed. We spend quite a lot to raise a team for competitions such as the TNM Super League and for referees to be frustrating us in this manner is very disappointing.
“Maybe we should just disband the team and channel our resources to something else. We just cannot go on like this. We are now beginning to think that Max Bullets’ owner Max Kapanda was right in disbanding his team afterall,” Alufandika said, his voice breaking.
Chikoti concurred with Alufandika, saying, while the disbanding is not yet the official position of the club, frustrations with officiation may tempt them to close shop.
He said the two spend personal resources to keep the team going, so losing matches because of poor officiation puts them off.
“We have been running the team with our personal resources for many years. Of course, we have a sponsor but much of the financing comes from us. So, should we continue spending where we are being deliberately frustrated?” Chikoti queried.
Kapanda disbanded Max Bullets after complaining about biased officiation in a league match when his team played against Epac at the same venue last season.
Tigers lose their best players every season to big teams such as Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers for free as the Kau Kau do not give them contracts due to lack of money for signing-on fees.
In reaction, Super League of Malawi General Secretary, Williams Banda, yesterday said Tigers’ concern was valid but not enough to warrant disbandment of the team.
“This matter is very technical. We have taken note of their concerns and we will discuss this with the referees and Football Association of Malawi.
“The clubs are also to blame because they do not pay registration fees to enable us meet the costs of rotating referees across the regions. Clubs also shun pre-match meetings which offer a platform for the teams to put across their concerns to the referees directly,” Banda said.
Banda further advised Tigers to learn to lodge their complaints officially to Sulom instead of doing so through the media.
On Monday, Tigers also lost 1-0 to Silver Strikers in Lilongwe. The Bankers scored through Binwell Katinji to reclaim second spot with 45 points from 21 games, displacing Nyasa Big Bullets who returned to third place.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues