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Thumbs Up semifinal awaits Fomo FC appeal

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Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) cannot fix a date for the semifinal of its Premier Division as it is waiting for results of an appeal that Fomo lodged with Football Association of Malawi (Fam).

Fomo had beaten Changalume Barracks 2-1 at Balaka Stadium on November 27 but the soldiers complained to SRFA that the former had featured players who were not properly cleared.

Changalume claimed that Ratiful Chande and Sammy Harry were Prison United players at the time of the match, hence Fomo should not have featured them.

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In its ruling on the matter, SRFA Competitions Committee agreed with Changalume and awarded them points for the match.

The decision did not go down well with Fomo, who filed 11 grounds of appeal to Fam’s Disciplinary Committee.

In a letter dated December 30, Fomo founder Mary Woodworth wrote: “We advise that having been dissatisfied with the decision of the Southern Region Football Association Competitions Committee, dated the 26th of December 2022 but served on us on the 30th of December 2022, intend to appeal against the said decision.”

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Woodworth wrote that SRFA Competitions Committee acted ultra vires when it set the 48 hours period within which an appeal could be lodged.

“Rule and regulation 13 of Thumbs Up Southern Region Football Association that deals with such appeals does not provide such period anywhere. The committee failed to take into consideration that the respondent adduced no evidence to demonstrate that they played the match in question under protest in compliance with Page 2 of 3 with sub-rule and regulation 12.1.1 and 12.1.2 of the league’s Rules and Regulations since the complaint against Fomo FC was in relation to the qualification of the two players,” she wrote.

Woodworth said they are seeking reversal of the entire decision.

“The decision of SRFA Competitions Committee to award a win to Changalume Barracks by 2-0, a game originally won by Fomo basing on the finding that the two players were unqualified within the meaning of rule and regulation 16.5 of SRFA 2021/2021 Rules and Regulations, was against the weight of evidence that was presented before it.

“The committee failed to take into consideration massive evidence that Prison United had not cleared the said players from their respective parent clubs and had no contracts with the said players, such that playing the said players without such documents was unlawful,” part of her appeal reads.

SRFA Vice General Secretary Kingsley Simbeye said they cannot set a date for the final until the appeal is concluded.

“We respect Fomo’s right to appeal and we will wait for Fam’s determination,” Simbeye said.

The winner of the appeal will take on Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve for the right to face Bangwe All Stars, who made it into the final after a 5-3 victory over MDF Marine on aggregate.

Hearing of the case is set for Saturday at Fam’s Mpira House in Blantyre.

Meanwhile, SRFA’s Unayo Division One second leg semifinal matches will be played this afternoon.

Zingwangwa United host Balaka FC at Mpira Stadium while Ndirande Stars and Ngabu United lock horns at Kamuzu Stadium.

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