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Tigresses ‘benched’ over Laureen Ngwira’s issue

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By Mphatso Malidadi:

Blantyre and Districts Netball Committee (BDNC) has exempted Tigresses from league games due to the protracted transfer wrangle involving the team’s all-rounder Laureen Ngwira.

The bone of contention is the eligibility of Ngwira who was cleared to play for Team Northumbria on loan in the Vitality Super league in the United Kingdom without Tigresses’ consent.

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Ngwira re-joined Tigresses two weeks ago after the expiry of her loan spell at Northumbria.

However, Ngwira was met with a hostile reception as Tigresses’ rivals, Kukoma Diamonds, demanded that the player should first produce her clearance from Northumbria.

BDNC Chairperson, Junier Kazembe, said they want to resolve issues surrounding Ngwira’s transfer before allocating Tigresses games.

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“It is not punishment but we don’t want to put the league in disrepute. What if we allocate Tigresses a game and another team refuses to play them because of Ngwira’s presence. Therefore, we met and we will also call Tigresses again before making a determination on whether Ngwira is eligible to play,” she said.

Tigresses Team Manager, Helene Mpinganjira-Tasosa, said they were surprised by their team’s exclusion from the fixtures.

“If they had contacted us officially, we could have understood [the exclusion]. But the absence of official communication raises eyebrows,” she said.

The wrangle has seen BDNC releasing fixtures for the next two weeks with Tigresses conspicuously missing.

Social media commentators have since accused the committee of punishing Tigresses without valid reasons, arguing that the move is aimed at giving Diamonds an upper hand to dominate the league.

Recently, Diamonds earned maximum points from a game they were supposed to play against Tigresses at Blantyre Youth Centre. Tigresses refused to play the game minus Ngwira.

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