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Nomads risk pitch invasion charges

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has disclosed that it is waiting for a referees’ report before slapping newly-crowned Carlsberg Cup champions, Be Forward Wanderers, with a pitch invasion charge.

Fam General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, made the statement after Wanderers supporters invaded the Kamuzu Stadium pitch in celebration following their teams’ dramatic 5-4 post-match penalty victory over Silver Strikers on Saturday.

“It is unfortunate that sometimes when you put rules and regulations, something that people have to follow, they break it. Today, we have seen pitch invasion. I do not know how we are going to control this in Malawi. It was there on July 16 and it was here again today [Saturday],” he said in reference to Wanderers rivals, Nyasa Big Bullets, who also invaded the pitch after lifting the Presidential Cup in Lilongwe.

Nyirenda said teams that command large following in the country are supposed to sensitise their supporters on the ills of pitch invasion.

“We need to civic educate our supporters. We told the two teams that whoever wins—their supporters should not invade the pitch but this has happened. All the same, it is football that has won and I would like congratulate Wanderers for winning this cup,” he said.

Nyirenda said Fam’s Disciplinary sub-committee will meet to decide on the charge depending on the referees’ report.

“It is out of those charges and how Wanderers will respond that we will know the penalty,” he said.

Nevertheless, Nyirenda said the competition was a success and hoped that Carlsberg Malawi Limited will return with the sponsorship next year.

In the quarterfinal stage, Wanderers were fined K350,000 for failing to control their supporters’ actions during a match against Premier Division side, Prison United.

In the semifinal, Wanderers were also fined K650,000 for perpetrating violence against another Premier Division, side, Mangochi Police.

Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, said they will wait for official charges, but he admitted that it was difficult containing thousands of excited supporters.

“The team fought well and the supporters were excited. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to contain the supporters. Anyway, we will wait for the charge and then pay the fine. I don’t think there is a team in Malawi that has ever succeeded in controlling their supporters after winning a cup,” he said.

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