Under-fire Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has meted punishment on players and teams including giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers for offences including the clubs’ failure to control fans and misconduct.
Sulom, which came under fire over delays in releasing verdicts, Monday also recommended to the National Referees Football Association the banning of referee Jimmy Phiri and his assistants for the rest of the season.
This was after Sulom’s Disciplinary Committee found Phiri guilty of awarding a dubious penalty to Silver, which Red Lions players refused, before causing abandonment of the match at Silver Stadium on June 5.
“The alleged handball did not happen. Such conduct from referees is of great concern to us. We have made recommendations before to the Referees Association to arrest the situation to no avail,” read judgement reads.
Silver have been fined K500,000 for failure to control the actions of their supporters and a similar amount for failure to provide adequate security.
The committee has found Lions guilty of abandonment of the game contrary to Article 21 (7) and (1) of the Sulom Rules and Regulations and consequently been fined K1 million.
Lions have also lost the game by 2-0. This means Silver are tying on points with leaders Bullets at 45 points each but the Peoples Team still top the log table due to a superior goal difference.
Silver have also been fined K500,000 for failing to control actions of their supporters when the side defeated Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0. The bankers have also been fined another K500,000 after their supporters invaded the pitch.
Bullets have not been spared either, having been fined K1 million for failure to control their supporters’ action and pitch invasion when the side hosted TN Stars at Kamuzu Stadium on May 23.
The People’s Team have also been hit with another fine of K1.5 million after being found guilty of failure to control actions of supporters contrary to Article 21 (2) of the Sulom Rules and Regulations and for bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to Article 21 (20) of the body’s regulations.
In another case, Maurice Chiumia of Mafco and Blue Eagles’ Stuart Mbunge have been banned for four matches for displaying unsporting behaviour.
The two were found guilty of inciting hatred and violence and being involved in brawls and eventual bleeding of Eagles’ attacker Micium Mhone contrary to articles 50, 51 and 53 of the Fam Disciplinary Code.
Both Mafco and Eagles have been fined K500,000 each.
Sulom Legal Adviser Innocent Kadammanja has warned the perpetrators against the malpractice saying stiffer penalties will follow.
“We have evidence coming in that some football club officials offer bribes to referees and we will soon name them because this is putting our football standards in disrepute,” Kadammanja said.
Bullets Chief Administrative Officer Albert Chigoga said the team was yet to discuss the verdicts.
“We find this (punishment) too much; so, we will make our position clear soon,” Chigoga said.
Silver were yet to respond to our questionnaire but Wanderers Chairperson Chancy Gondwe described the situation as chaotic.
“Sulom has lost control here. This will result in champions being declared through boardroom decisions as a result of bad refereeing in the country,” he said.
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.