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Committee to determine violence case

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BY PETER KANJERE:

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions Committee Chairperson, Jabbar Alide, has said they will refer the issue of violence that marred Sunday’s Airtel Top 8 final between Blue Eagles and Nyasa Big Bullets to the association’s Disciplinary Committee for action.

Alide said this Monday when asked as to what action the organisers will take on the incident that occurred when Bullets fans joined their players on the pitch in throwing bottles and beating up referee Misheck Juwa after he had awarded Eagles a penalty, which Stuart Mbunge converted.

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He said his committee was waiting for reports from stadium owners, police and match officials before referring the matter to the committee.

“We will forward the reports to the appropriate judicial body because 99 percent of what happened borders on disciplinary issues. We do not handle them. We let independent people, who are not members of Fam, come up with their determination,” Alide said.

He said the violence did not occur due to a slip in organisation but “as a result of people not liking the referee’s decision…the cardinal rule in football is that the referee’s decision is final.”

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In the incident, Bullets defender Yamikani Fodya cleared the ball and appeared to either collide with or push Eagles’ winger Gilbert Chirwa, who was aiming to shoot, before Juwa pointed to the dreaded spot.

Mbunge scored, beating substitute goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe, who had guessed right, but was beaten by sheer power of the rising shot.

Laws of the Game state that “a penalty kick is awarded if a player commits a direct free kick offence inside their penalty area or off the field.”

The party to be found guilty in the Sunday incidents risks heavy punishment including a fine.

In another incident during the match, a fourth official used an A4 paper when displaying substitutes’ jersey numbers instead of the usual electronic boards.

Alide said the incident happened because the board they use is branded TNM; hence, it was not appropriate to use direct competitor’s branded material.

Airtel Malawi Limited Managing Director, Charles Kamoto, has since condemned the violence, saying: “We are saddened by the violence and we really condemn this. This is a sad development.”

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