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Banned referee seeks refuge in South Africa

Mzuzu-based referee, Limbani Chisambi, who—alongside three others—was handed a life-ban by the National Referees Association (NRA) for alleged match-fixing has reportedly gone to South Africa, seeking a new lease of life.

Chisambi, who was banned in September alongside other referees— Aziz Nyirenda, Stefano Gomani and Jimmy Phiri— claimed that he lost his job because of the allegations.

Chisambi said that he was being taunted as ‘Mr K15, 000’ in reference to the amount of money the quartet allegedly pocketed from Nchalo United to manipulate the result of a Carlsberg Cup match against Chitipa United at Mzuzu Stadium in July.

“Malawi has betrayed me. No one seems interested in knowing the truth about the matter. We appealed against NRA’s decision but I feel that Fam [Football Association of Malawi] is not interested in hearing us out.

“The one who got the money came out in the open and said that he really pocketed the money. Top officials know the truth, but I feel they are also corrupt and they are deliberately playing delay tactics,” Chisambi wrote in an SMS to The Daily Times.

Chisambi eventually told Zodiak Broadcasting Station that since NRA’s verdict came out, he has been subjected to ridicule; hence he could not take it any longer.

Earlier, in his report addressed to Northern Region Referees Committee, Phiri admitted to have received the money in the name of sugarcane from one of Nchalo’s coaching panellists (name withheld).

Phiri added that he took the money to the Nyirenda-led officiating panel of the day, but the trio turned him down.

Fam has come under pressure from several quarters, including the NRA, over its delay to act on the newly-promoted Super League side’s [Nchalo] involvement in the scandal.

NRA General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, told The Nation last week that Fam is setting a bad precedent by not acting on the matter, six months after the incident.

While accepting that they were facing difficulties in investigating the matter, Fam recently told The Daily Times that it would come up with a decision before the start of the next season.

Fam Club Licensing and Transfer Matching System Manager, Casper Jangale, said Fam is following “all the necessary procedures” before coming up with its verdict on the matter.

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