Malawi Defense Force should take drastic measures on Red Lions players
Red Lions football club created havoc at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday when they physically assaulted the referee Boniface Chipinga as their show of frustration following their 2-2 draw with rookies Surestream.
The soldiers were bitter with the referee for ruling as offside three of the goals they scored and for awarding a last minute penalty to the rookies which they scored to level the score and earn their first TNM Super League point.
As they assaulted the referee, the fans invaded the pitch and went ahead to smash the Red Lions bus parked inside the stadium’s changing room area.
As the fracas continued, a Tata truck arrived with some suspected soldiers, who fired in the air and started attacking any fan they encountered. Some were badly beaten and had to be rushed to the hospital.
This is very unfortunate and not sportsmanship at all. Army teams tend to behave this way all the time. About three seasons ago, Moyale Barracks goalkeeper McDonald Harawa also assaulted the referee in retaliation for being red carded.
Almost all army teams — Red Lions, Mafco, Kamuzu Barracks and Moyale — use their status as soldiers as the weapon to always intimidate either their opponents or the officiating personnel.
Football is supposed to be a beautiful game and whatever happens on the pitch should end on a sportsmanship spirit. We expected the MDF teams to be exemplary by dissuading the public from acts of violence at football matches or at any gathering.
We are supposed to love out soldiers for the great job they do in keeping our sovereignty secure but Malawian soldiers always try to instil fear on the citizenry the moment they take off their camouflaged uniforms.
Many players have complained how they hate playing against MDF teams, saying they always throw intimidating slurs on opponents away from the ears of the referee during matches to destabilise their opponents.
Even at drinking places, especially in Zomba, off duty soldiers have been known of terrorising fellow imbibers even over very petty issues. Even journalists have been intimated and I am quite sure one day soon someone is going to throw disparaging remarks at me for writing about this.
It’s high time the top administration of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) took drastic measures to discipline Red Lions players as well as the other three army teams to respect the public which they serve.
When they leave their barracks, they should treat themselves like civilians, mingle with them and enjoy the camaraderie in the spirit of sportsmanship. Otherwise, the public is of the view that the MDF teams should form their own league and compete amongst themselves.
Why should we fear our own soldiers? Why do they try to alienate themselves from the public they are supposed to proudly serve?
A football game is controlled by the referees and their decisions are supposed to be respected. I have always argued that if the referee disallows three goals against you, it means you are good. So go on and score five more legitimate ones and win the game.
There is no such thing as being robbed of the game by the referee — Play to score legitimate goals.
Please, MDF top administration, do something about this — Red Lions have put the name of your respected institution in disrepute.
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