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Let football sanity prevail

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FAM Competitions’ Organising Committee needs a pat on the back for the fines it imposed on four teams that were involved in the Carlsberg Cup quarterfinals violence last week.

The committee has treated the issue with utmost urgency after these teams failed to give us a reasonable dose of entertainment we deserved.

Fortunately, I was home, sipping a cup of coffee, when these ugly scenes were rearing ugly face; I was just getting information from friends who were watching what was unfolding.

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Mafco, Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Prison United were the culprits and all the teams have been fined, either leniently or heavily, for putting the beautiful game, as Brazilians legend Pele called it, into disrepute.

Mafco and Bullets players were involved in a fracas after the former invaded Chitowe pitch to stop Bullets players from training on the eve of the quarterfinal.

In Balaka, there were also running battles between Prison United and Wanderers supporters until police intervened to control the situation.

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Fortunately, the Balaka game concluded unlike that of their counterparts in Chitowe where the game was not played. Instead it was rescheduled for Civo Stadium today.

It is, therefore, our hope that today’s rescheduled match between Bullets and Mafco will provide us with the entertainment we deserve.

We have had enough of bloodshed from these hooligans, who still belong to those dark ages. All what we need is peace.

Memories are still fresh when the same Carlsberg Breweries Limited withdrew sponsorship due to violence that ensued in a game between Bullets and Wanderers after Muzipasi Mwangonde’s disputed goal at Kamuzu Stadium in 2003.

I had a good view of what was happening. From a vantage point, I could see fans from both sides plunging into that madness that left most of the innocent people injured and cars broken. The city was thrown into turmoil and there was utter confusion.

The soccer fraternity cannot afford to go back to that era of confusion because a few selfish individuals can’t respect the simple rules of the game.

The fines, which have been imposed on these teams and the urgency the issues have been dealt with, shows how serious the local football governing body has become in as far as instilling discipline in clubs is concerned.

However, I still feel the punishments too were lenient to curb this football madness in our esteemed game.

Let’s hope football sanity will prevail as Bullets and Mafco clash today in Lilongwe.

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