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Probe gate fraud—Sports Minister

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Minister of Youth Development and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda has urged stakeholders to investigate gate fraud thoroughly to prune out the vice.

Chimwendo Banda said this after four gate cashiers were arrested at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday for allegedly stealing K437,000 at the end of the Mighty Wanderers and Sable Farming TNM Super League match. Two more people were arrested on Sunday.

“Those that have been arrested are very few. A lot of people are involved in gate collections theft. The system is rotten in terms of gate collections. It is the duty of every stakeholder to dig deeper to get rid of the system,” the sports minister said.

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Chimwendo Banda said they were working with the Malawi National Council of Sports to speed up the implementation of e-ticketing.

“I know advance ticket sales have challenges too as others tend to produce counterfeit tickets. We are working with the Malawi National Council of Sports to speed up the process. As a matter of fact, e-ticketing is one of the reform areas.

“In the past, it was lacking resources but we are working with Treasury so that we should have enough resources to kick start e-ticketing. Very soon, we will update the public on how far we have gone,” he said.

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Chimwendo Banda said recent developments at matches suggest that gate fraud is high at big stadiums during top team clashes.

“The issue is worse. Imagine the Balaka match involving Dedza Dynamos and Nyasa Big Bullets, with relatively less spectators, recorded a whooping K12 million in gate collections whereas the Blantyre derby between Bullets and Wanderers grossed the same amount despite registering huge turnout.

“You can also compare with the Pamtsetse Bonanza. In two days, the bonanza raked in K45 million, which was a plus. The big challenge is that the more we tolerate this kind of behaviour at the gates the more the clubs will continue to suffer, thereby affecting the welfare of players.

Meanwhile, the arrested people are expected to appear in court today.

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