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Depressing ritual of blood

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BY PILIRANI KACHINZIRI:

It is sad and shameful that Super League games in Lilongwe and Karonga districts, last weekend, brought a depressing ritual of blood and sorrow.

There was violence during a game between Blue Eagles and Be Forward Wanderers at Nankhaka Stadium before another one erupted between Karonga United and Silver Strikers at Karonga Stadium.

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Some wayward Karonga fans attacked some of the spectators, accusing them of supporting the visiting team.

Police in Karonga, a remote part of the country, arrested 17 supporters in connection with the undignified incident which left 10 people injured.

In Lilogwe at the dreaded National Police Headquarters, several people were injured when some irate supporters protested against the unexpected rise of entry fee which was pegged at K1,500, up from K1,000.

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The supporters pelted stones into the stadium in protest, injuring scores of people in the process.

In an attempt to disperse the protesters, police fired teargas, forcing some other people to writh in pain by the fumes of the gas.

Whether it was by sheer design or default, no one was arrested in connection with the incident despite happening at the National Police Headquarters.

There was absolutely no need for the supporters, who had the shortfall, to pelt stones at their colleagues who had nothing to do with the hiking of the gate charges.

The incidents should serve as a catalyst to strategise on how security should be tightened at football matches. It was by sheer luck that no death was reported in both incidents.

It is a fact that football has changed beyond recognition and there is need to market it properly. And proper marketing can be only achieved when there is peace and harmony.

No sane investor would put money into a sport which is unstable and riddled with rituals of blood.

Sulom needs to take draconian measures so that even parents can take their children to the games without a second thought.

People go to the games to watch talent showcased by our players, no matter how raw it may be, but the least every true football loving person expect is to come back lifeless or with cuts oozing blood.

The nation has had enough of football violence. There is need for relevant authorities to instil sanity in the game.

Unfortunately, these incidents have put the beautiful game into disrepute and that cannot be accepted to be part of Malawi football heritage.

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