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Council reduces Karonga Queens player’s 25-year ban

By Bernard Mhone:

CAN AFFORD SMILE—Mwalughali

Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has reduced to one year, an initial 25-year ban from any netball activity imposed on Karonga Queens captain Abigail Mwalughali by Netball Association of Malawi (Nam).

The country’s netball governing body slapped Mwalughali with the ban on March 1 this year after being found guilty of causing violence during the Presidential Initiative on Sports regional finals against Mzuzu Queens in November last year at Katoto Netball Court.

A letter dated September 19 2019 and signed by MNCS Acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, states that the decision was made following a meeting on July 27 2019.

“Council has indeed observed that your conduct was un-sportsmanship which should not happen in sport. However, council noted that the ban that was imposed on you was excessive. Council has made its decision as that the 25-year ban which was imposed on you be lifted.

“You shall still serve the one-year ban and you shall still pay the K20,000 fine in two weeks from the date of this letter. Council took into consideration among other things that you regretted your behavior and that you acknowledged and accepted that it is wrong to attack match officials,” reads part of the letter.

The letter also orders Mwalughali to write letters of apology to Nam and Northern Region Netball Committee.

Grand Master Sports Promotions Managing Director, Charles Nyirenda, initiated the appeal and said he was satisfied with council’s determination of the matter.

“Justice has prevailed. By all standards, the offence did not warrant a 25-year ban. It was tantamount to a life sentence. Abigail and her colleagues only reacted to what they considered poor umpiring during the final and she did not deserve the punishment,” Nyirenda said on behalf of Mwalughali.

Nam General Secretary Carol Bapu asked for more time before commenting on the development, saying she was in a meeting.

But Karonga Team Manager Ruth Mwafulirwa commended MNCS for the determination.

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