Referee lost count of players
Allowed 12 Tigers players
Grade One referee Harrison Chiunda committed one of the rare blunders in football circles after allowing Mighty Tigers to have 12 players on the pitch during the team’s loss to Ekwendeni Hammers on Saturday.
Chiunda did not coordinate with Fourth Official Patrick Somanje when Tigers made triple substitution in the second half at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, in Blantyre during a TNM Super League match.
Tigers had substituted their first goal-scorer Fatsani Chilikumtima for defender Boston Kabango and Precious Chipungu for Martin Nsewa.
At the same time Tigers introduced Edwin Carlos for Chikaiko Batson but surprisingly the striker [Batson] remained on the pitch giving the Kau-Kau outfit an extra one player advantage.
It took an intervention from the fans who booed to alert the referee that something was wrong after two minutes.
Chiunda immediately stopped the game before taking out Batson.
National Referees Association General Secretary Chris Kalichero said they were waiting for a report from the game’s match commissioner- Bester Banda.
“It is very difficult to comment on the matter as I haven’t received any report on the allegations against the officiating crew on Saturday. Once I do, I will surely revert and let the soccer fraternity on our next course of action,” he said.
Meanwhile, Banda downplayed the incident saying the authorities would talk to the referees.
“The good thing is that Chiunda, after realising there was a 12th player in the game which was against Law three of the Referees Handbook, stopped play and ordered the extra player to go out.
“So it is an issue that will be handled at a different forum not in the media,” Banda said.
Tigers lost the game 3-2.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.