Kukoma Diamonds lodge complaint to Nam
Kukoma Diamonds have lodged a complaint to Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) over alleged questionable officiation during last weekend’s GOtv Netball Champions League finals held at Don Bosco in Lilongwe.
Diamonds General Secretary, Chimwemwe Bakali, confirmed that they have written Nam because the club is convinced there was a conspiracy to deny them the championship, which Civonets won for the first time.
“Throughout the competition and during the finals in particular, officiation was against us. Before the final, a set of umpires warmed up but when the game was about to start, we saw a new set of umpires [being assigned the game].
“One of the umpires is also a trainer at Civonets while the head of Umpires Committee [for Nam] is also a coach at Civonets. We feel that there was conspiracy against us,” Bakali said in a thin-veiled reference to Civonets Coach, Whyte Mulilima.
Nam General Secretary, Carol Bapu, refused to comment on Diamonds’ complaint.
Despite the claims over the officiation, it has also emerged that the absence of Diamonds Coach, Griffin Saenda Snr, who is recuperating from an illness, might have contributed to the team’s 26-16 loss to Civionets in the final.
Some fringe players for Diamonds accused the club’s officials of favouring off-form senior players.
“The problem is that they don’t give us a chance to play. Some senior players are not in their best form but they are still given game-time.
“In the absence of the head coach, his assistant [Noel Mussa] is weak to select a squad on merit. If this continues, the team would lose more games,” said a Diamonds’ player speaking on condition of anonymity.
However, Mussa dismissed the allegations, saying Civonets won the championship because they were simply better.
“We feature players on merit. Those statements are from frustrated players. Otherwise, we played well but Civonets were a better side,” he said.
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