The 2017 Volleyball Association of Malawi (Vam) National Championship ended in controversy as Kamuzu Barracks (KB) walked out of court during the final match in protest over a referee’s decision at Lilongwe Community Ground on Sunday.
The deposed champions protested after referee Khuma Kauwa gave KB player Crossbey Makondetsa marching orders for suspected foul language.
In reaction, the soldiers walked out of court and boycotted the prize presentation ceremony.
The final had started late as KB had reservations with the referee.
The two teams were tied at 1-1 after two sets when the abandonment occurred.
Vam reversed the decision several times before declaring Thunder champions.
Vam Vice President, James Kaunda, said despite several flaws, the tournament achieved its purpose.
“We will wait for a report from the organising committee to decide on the issue of KB. But the tournament was a success because we identified good players,” Kaunda said.
KB officials refused to comment on the issue.
Thunder Coach, James Mangani, said they deserved the championship.
“It was a well contested final but KB were under pressure from us,” he said.
Thunder were declared 3-1 winners over KB to be crowned champions and pocket K400, 000, plus a trophy and gold medals.
KB received K250, 000 plus medals. Junior Spikers of Lilongwe finished on third position after beating Moyale Barracks 3-2 in a third-place play-off.
Ken Kansasi (Thunder) was named most valuable player (MVP) as well as best spiker.
Best setter was Mangani whereas Jones Mapira of KB was the best receiver.
Nick Liwewe of Moyale won the best blocker accolade.
In the women’s category, Blue Eagles defended the title after defeating KB 3-2 whereas Moyale beat Snipers by the same margin in a third place play-off.
MVP was Raxanne Corbeil from Eagles, Pauline Bwande and Fannie Kanyenda (both KB) won the best receiver and setter awards, respectively.
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