By Williams Gondwa:
Silver Strikers have finally fired their team manager, Hellings Mwakasungula, after receiving an official communication from Football Association of Malawi (Fam) over his life ban following match-manipulation allegations.
Mwakasungula is among nine officials that Fifa banned for life last week due to alleged match-fixing during the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations games in Angola, among other games.
Silver General Secretary, Lawrence Yobe, confirmed the firing of Mwakasungula, saying they have appointed their goalkeepers’ trainer Sibusiso Padambo to double as interim team manager.
“Indeed, we received a formal letter from Fam advising Silver Strikers that our team manager Mr Hellings Mwakasungula has been banned for life. Silver Strikers actually signed an agreement through the club licensing process that we would oblige to all the statutes and directions which are given by Fam.
“This has affected us in many ways as we were just getting settled and now we are going a little bit backwards. Taking someone like Padambo, who is grooming and training our keepers, to combine the two big roles is a big challenge,” Yobe said.Advertisement
The former Flames midfielder (Mwakasungula) has denied the allegations and is reportedly contemplating appealing the ban which has sent shock waves in Malawi.
Mwakasungula told last Tuesday’s edition of The Nation newspaper that Fifa is accusing him of having fixed a match against Algeria and a friendly in Bahrain.
However, Fifa, in its determination, did not specify the games in question and when the former midfielder was involved in the issue which is linked to convicted match-fixer from Singapore, Wilson Perumal.
“Fifa never summoned me for any hearing,” The Nation quotes Mwakasungula as saying.
“The truth is that I was never involved in match fixing. My hands are clean. There are other matches they accuse me of helping fix which I didn’t play in. For example, I have never played against Bahrain. One of the matches they accuse me of manipulating was that against Algeria at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals. I was man -of-the-match and Malawi won 3-0. Where was match fixing in this result?”
Fifa also banned Karlon Murray, Keyeno Thomas (Trinidad and Tobago), Ibrahim Kargbo (Sierra Leone), Kudzanai Shaba (Zimbabwe), Séïdath Tchomogo (Benin), Leonel Duarte (Cuba) and Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani (Afghanistan).
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