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Debate on Big Bullets verdict

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BY PETER KANJERE:

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions Organising Committee Chairperson, Jabbar Alide, has reacted to the association’s independent Disciplinary Committee’s decision to spare some Nyasa Big Bullets players, fans and officials from punishment for allegedly perpetrating violence during the recent Airtel Top 8 final against Blue Eagles.

The Daily Times had asked Alide about the committee’s decision to ban Bullets from participating in next year’s edition of the elite knock-out cup while also fining them a total of K7,297,241 for offences ranging from pitch invasion, criticising match officials in public, inciting violence, bringing the game into disrepute and causing a brawl.

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Alide said, while he could have personally loved to have the individuals who were involved in the violence at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe penalised, he respects the committee’s verdict.

“I have gone through the verdict and it outlines how the Disciplinary Committee reached its respective conclusions. We should be commenting on the issue after going through the whole summary of the verdict,” Alide said.

Bullets officials, players and fans descended on the pitch after the game to protest against referee Misheck Juba’s decision to award Eagles a penalty after the Blantyre giants’ defender Yamikani Fodya appeared to foul advancing winger Gilbert Chirwa.

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The report which Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, released on Friday named players such as Mike Mkwate and Miracle Gabeya as having been involved in the fracas alongside Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Fleetwood Haiya, supporters Fanny Soko, Stone Mwamadi, Martin Kaunda and William Chiuzeni.

However, video replays show that there was very minimal contact to warrant the penalty. In football, a referee’s decision is final.

National Referees Association General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, Monday reserved his comment on the charges that have been levelled against Bullets.

“As for the referee, his issue is in the hands of our authorities,” Kalichero said.

Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Fleetwood Haiya, Monday insisted that they were still consulting their lawyers on the way forward.

Bullets have three days—from July 26 2018—to either appeal or not against the charges. The team can appeal to Fam’s Appeals Committee.

The People’s Team has also been banned from using Bingu National Stadium until they pay for K325,606.25 which is the cost of the damage they caused to the Lilongwe facility.

The committee ordered Bullets to pay the fines within 21 days from July 26.

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