In a bid to curb acts of violence and hooliganism during matches staged at Karonga Stadium, TNM Super League outfit Karonga United has engaged chiefs, police and the Karonga community on the matter.
A fortnight ago, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) moved Karonga’s FDH Bank Cup round-of-32 match against Mighty Wanderers from Karonga to Mzuzu Stadium after violent scenes marred the TNM Super League match between Karonga and Silver Strikers at the lakeshore match venue.
Northern Region Football Referees Committee added weight to Fam’s position by issuing a statement indicating that its members would not officiate matches at Karonga Stadium following home supporters’ misbehaviour.
The development forced Karonga United to approach Paramount Chief Kyungu, Senior Chief Kalonga, Karonga City Council and the police with the aim of brainstorming on solutions to the problem.
Karonga Chairperson Mathews Tulombolombo said the club has joined forces with the stakeholders in sensitising fans to the need to maintain peace before, during and after matches.
“It is disappointing to learn that we are on the verge of losing out on hosting matches at Karonga Stadium. Playing our home matches outside Karonga will be unsustainable. We therefore want to do whatever we can to stop any incidents of violence or hooliganism at our home ground.
“This exercise will run for a month. It is an important campaign to us as a team. We have taken the initiative to help our supporters know that it is wrong to ill-treat visiting teams. The campaign is making good progress and we are happy. It will not be good for Fam and Sulom [Super League of Malawi] to ban us from playing at Karonga Stadium,” Tulombolombo said.
Karonga Police Public Relations Officer Enock Livason said they welcome the initiative.
“What happened at Karonga Stadium during Karonga’s match against Silver was unfortunate. It only succeeded in denting the image of Karonga as a district. As police, our role is to tighten security before, during and after matches so that such incidents do not happen again,” he said.
Karonga are fifth on the TNM Super League log table with 32 points from 21 matches.