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TICKET SCAM : Fraudsters steal, sell tickets during Nomads, Silver game

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Disagreements have ensued between clubs and league administrators following reports that some tickets went missing during the TNM Super League match between Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) on Sunday.

The clubs claim that tickets worth over K4 million went missing whereas Super League of Malawi (Sulom) insists that a booklet of tickets, valued at K150,000, was stolen.

Wanderers used BNS as their home ground, hoping to realise more money as was the case when they met Silver in the Airtel Top 8 Cup final at the same venue, where a gross of K52 million was earned with each team earning K10 million.

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However, from the latest game, which ended goalless, only K18 million (gross) was collected with each team pocketing K3.5 million to spark the outrage.

Reports suggest that some people, including a police officer, were seen selling tickets from a minibus parked outside BNS but they were not arrested. The conductor of the bus was picked by police for questioning but he has since been released.

Wanderers Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire, said they were disappointed with the poor revenue.

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“Now, it seems the crooks have discovered loopholes. We need to cement the holes with strong concrete. No one is above the law.

“We strongly feel that over K4 million worth of tickets were lost. We will work with the authorities to get to the bottom of this. Currently, Silver is joining the fight and we hope that other teams, including Nyasa Big Bullets, will join the fight as well,” he said.

Silver interim General Secretary, Thabo Nyirenda, said they were joining the fight because there were serious security lapses during the game.

“We feel that enough-is-enough because it is the players and clubs that suffer. We were told that the tickets were printed in Blantyre and somewhere along the line the handovers were not done properly. We feel this ticket scam involves people that are close to top football bodies in the country,” he said.

Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba-Banda, said the police were handling the matter.

“Unfortunately, the guy in uniform wasn’t caught. The tickets that were being sold on the parallel market weren’t fake. A genuine booklet of serial numbers 12901 to 12300 was stolen from the cashiers. The booklet was worth K150,000 and not K4 million,” he said.

Banda said the handovers by the gate management supervisor to the cashiers was not done properly as they only recorded the number of tickets given to cashiers without taking down serial numbers.

“During balancing, the concentration of the supervisors was only on the cash received. We came to know about the incident soon after the commencement of the second-half [of the game].

“By the time we reached the spot where the tickets were being sold, the guy in uniform had left the place and we found counter folios on the ground. That is how we noted the serial numbers,” he said.

Recently, four suspects who were caught selling counterfeit tickets at the same venue during the Chifundo Charity Shield, were convicted and handed community sentences in Blantyre.

Last year, some Fam officials and police officers were implicated in a ticket scam during Chifundo Charity Shield match in Lilongwe but they were never arrested. Fam set up a commission of inquiry but the matter died a natural death.

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