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Hooliganism, intimidation must be nicked in the bud

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It is frightening that the road to the December 12 Football Association of Malawi (Fam) elections is being littered with intimidation, violence and death threats.

If what we experienced at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday was anything to go by, then Fam’s Electoral Committee needs to act swiftly to save the situation.

What happened during the World Cup qualifier between Malawi and Tanzania when some supporters mounted campaign material castigating the incumbent Fam president, Walter Nyamilandu, at Kamuzu Stadium was a catalyst for violence.

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There was physical confrontation when some supporters removed the banner and Fam was lucky to have escaped a fine from Fifa considering that the incident was happening in full view of the Match Commissioner.

Mounting campaign materials at the stadium, which is supposed to be an arena for fun and enjoyment, was totally unacceptable and cannot be condoned. That has never happened in Fam elections. If aspirants are good enough, let them make their presence felt through the ballot box in Salima and not at the stadium.

There is need for sanity to prevail as we approach the December elections.

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Mudslinging and violence must be nicked in the bud by the Electoral Committee which has the powers vested in it by Fifa to oversee the entire electoral process.

Candidates must campaign within the prescribed electoral law to avoid bloodshed and conflicts. After all, football is just for entertainment and why should aspirants, who are already well to do in their respective jobs, become dirty and desperate?

Of course, to some extent I appreciate that bickering is what the art of football politics is all about, but there is need for control.

However, this is the right time for candidates, if they would be nominated for their respective positions, to start selling their manifestos to the voters rather than wasting time bickering over petty issues.

The Electoral Committee should also squarely shoulder the blame; they have not enlightened the people on the dos and don’ts of the forthcoming elections.

Maybe some people cannot be blamed for whatever they are doing because possibly they are ignorant of the electoral laws.

It is high time the Electoral Committee started civic-educating people on the laws that govern the elections like what the Malawi Electoral Commission does prior to the elections.

You cannot assume that every aspirant or supporter knows what the Fam electoral laws state.

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