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FAM U-TURNS – Allows BB to appeal Airtel ban

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Executive Committee on Saturday resolved to grant Nyasa Big Bullets an opportunity to appeal the association’s Disciplinary Committee’s ban of the team from 2019 Airtel Top 8 for perpetrating violence.

Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, announced the decision through a press release issued yesterday, months after banning Bullets and fining them K7,297,241 for offences ranging from pitch invasion, criticising match officials, inciting violence, bringing the game into disrepute and causing a brawl.

“Bullets wrote the Fam Executive Committee requesting for consideration that they should appeal as the delay to submit the initial one was as a result of communication breakdown,” reads the press release in part.

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Bullets players, fans and officials traded blows with the police at Bingu National Stadium pitch in protest over referee Mischeck Juba’s decision to award eventual Airtel champions, Blue Eagles, a penalty in July 2018.

Stuart Mbunge converted the penalty to earn Eagles a 1-0 win and, with it, the cup after Bullets defender Yamikani Fodya was adjudged to have brought down advancing winger Gilbert Chirwa late in the final.

However, after the Disciplinary Committee’s decision, the Appeals Committee refused to entertain Bullets’ appeal on the grounds that it came outside the three-day grace period of time, from July 26 2018.

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In reaction, Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Fleetwood Haiya, yesterday said: “We are neither aware nor [have we] been communicated. We can only react or comment upon receipt of the communication.”

In other decisions, Fam also tasked its Executive Committee Member Daud Suleman with the responsibility of leading the organisation of a first-ever Mpira Football Summit, scheduled for December 21 2018, to solicit input from stakeholders on local football challenges.

The meeting also agreed to introduce Fam Football Awards to be unveiled on December 21, with Vice-President James Mwenda leading the initiative, while a decision for the association to roll out an academy for under-14 players from around Mpira Village also got the nod.

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