Red Lions have been slapped with a total of K3.6 million fine and will also miss the services of eight key players for the rest of the season after Super League of Malawi (Sulom) yesterday handed hefty penalties to the players for assaulting referee Boniface Chapinga in last Sunday’s Super League match against Surestream FC at the Kamuzu Stadium.
The verdict signed by Sulom treasurer, Tiya Somba Banda, says disciplinary committee meetings held on May 13 found Red Lions guilty of breaching Sulom’s rules and regulations and the Fifa disciplinary code.
Consequently, Dickson Mbetewa Junior and Loti Chawinga have been banned for 12 months and they have been fined K350,000 each for leading the assault of the referee.
Boniface Kaulesi, William Chiumia, Matthews Simbeye, George Haule and Thomas Makaombwa have been banned from playing for six months and have also been fined K350,000 each.
The club’s team doctor Gibson Langwe has also been banned from the touchline and the dressing room for 12 months and fined K350,000.
Red Lions have also been fined K450,000 for failing to control the actions of their players, officials and supporters who assaulted the officiating personnel and the general public as stipulated in Article 21.3 of rules and regulations of the TNM Super League.
Red Lions had initially accepted the charges for Mbetewa and Chawinga but argued that the other six players did not assault the referee.
“However, overwhelming evidence that the disciplinary committee received from different sources indicated that these six players did assault the referee with the other two players (Dickson Mbetewa Jnr and Lot Chawinga) being in the forefront of the assault,” reads the verdict.
Sulom has ruled that all the fines that total K3.6 million should be paid before Red Lions’ next fixture which is on Sunday against Big Bullets in Zomba.
“Failure shall lead to forfeiture of points until the sums are paid or guarantees and sureties are deposited with Sulom. All other sanctions are with immediate effect,” reads the verdict.
Sulom has since warned all clubs to uphold the rules and regulations of the league.
The Red Lions team bus was smashed by angry supporters after the players assaulted the referee.
In reiteration, alleged Red Lions supporters attacked the supporters and one fan is still in critical condition at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital following the assault.
Meanwhile, Malawi Defence Force (MDF) says it does not condone indiscipline among its staff including players.
MDF spokesperson, Lieutenant Paul Chiphwanya on Thursday said soldiers are trained to be disciplined as such they should lead by example by maintaining discipline in a society.
However, Chiphwanya said MDF was yet to receive official communication on the matter saying they will wait for Super League of Malawi (Sulom) report before acting on the issue.
“As a team, Red Lions has not yet received communication from Sulom and as such the team has not communicated anything to us. Once we get the official communication on the judgement, we will forward it to our legal advisors to study it and for sure they will provide guidance on how Reds are to react,” said Chiphwanya in a written response.
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