Sulom to whip two
Tigers, Nomads officials risk punishment
By Peter Fote & Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Super League of Malawi (Sulom)’s rod of justice will not spare Mighty Wakawaka Tigers and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers officials that were in a fracas at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre on Sunday, Malawi News Sport can reveal.
Tigers Technical Director Robin Alufandika and Wanderers Assistant Coach Albert Mpinganjira have attracted Sulom’s wrath for their involvement in a touchline commotion.
The two nearly exchanged punches close to the pitch but they were separated as the TNM Super League match, which ended 1-1, was in progress.
Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda said the two are being accused of bringing the game into disrepute.
“Our legal team will advise on the way forward. We are aware of what happened. We have gathered all the reports from relevant stakeholders and we will act.
“We have reports from other venues for the past week and we will also deal with them accordingly,” Banda said.
During the incident, Alufandika was seen leaving his technical area and charging towards the fourth official, which led to him and Mpinganjira shoving each other.
They were eventually separated by others.
National Referees Association (NRA) General Secretary Chris Kalichero has faulted the behaviour of the two officials.
“In my opinion, somebody who brings in attention that will likely interfere with play like shoving each other or fighting warrants a red or yellow card.
“If I was a man in-charge of that game I would not have hesitated to flash a card. I do not have this issue on my desk but I hear it is being administered at a higher office. However, I must also clarify that it is also at the referee’s discretion to either flash cards or not,” Kalichero said.
However, Alufandika said he reacted because Wanderers officials were blocking him from advancing to the fourth official where he wanted to lodge his complaint.
“There was a second yellow card flashed to Christopher Kumwembe which should have attracted a red card but the referee never acted.
“I then made my way to the fourth official to complain and clever Wanderers officials stopped me because they knew that it would have resulted in a sending off for their player,” he said.
Mpinganjira’s number could not be reached to comment.
Meanwhile, Silver Strikers coach Pieter de Jongh has made it clear that he will not shut his mouth until things change in Malawi football.
His comments come after wide criticism from the football fraternity over his conduct in the opening four matches in the TNM Super League this season.
The Dutchman has received two yellow cards and a red card in the four matches.
Addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday at Silver Club House, de Jongh said there is selective justice in Malawi football.
“I will not close my mouth. But they are focusing on de Jongh. This is very unfair. I say things in a polite way and reality,’’ he said.
He said he was surprised as to why referees did not punish Alufandika and Mpinganjira for being involved in a brawl during the game at Mpira Stadium.
“I am surprised that vice chairperson of the club fought with opponents’ assistant coach but the referees did nothing. But de Jongh makes polite comments to a referee and he gets two cards,’’ the Dutchman said.
The former Highlanders and FC Platinum coach recently also questioned some refereeing decisions in domestic football.
He made headlines when he said some of the stadiums are not even good to be play grounds for his dog.
Veteran journalist Herbert Chandilanga wrote on his Facebook Page that the Dutchman might have a point.
“People will ask, as they doubt the authenticity of his rants, why is he the only one seeing things differently. But sometimes it is only life savers that see things differently,” he wrote on his page.
The Dutchman has made a good start to his career in domestic football, having won three matches and a draw in four matches.
Silver are second on the log table with 10 points.
Meanwhile, Sulom has postponed to a later date the match between Silver and Tigers which was scheduled for Bingu National Stadium today.
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.