Under siege


National Referees Association (NFA) has complained about the increase of violence in football venues across the country, especially targeting referees. Six referees have been attacked within a month.

The association’s General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, was reacting to a fracas that erupted at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday where Nyasa Big Bullets’ fans invaded the pitch to harass referee, Andy Kuseli, after a goalless draw against Azam Tigers.

The ugly scenes forced the police to fire teargas to disperse the unruly crowd.


“I did not watch the game at Kamuzu Stadium because I was at Dwangwa. However, I followed the game on radio and learnt about the supporters’ act of beating up Kuseli,” Kalichero said.

“Seriously, I was surprised because I heard through radio Bullets’ Team Manager, [Rahim] Ishmael, admitting that Tigers gave them tough time; now why descend on the referee? A similar incident happened in Dwangwa [on Sunday].”

He then said his body had written Super League of Malawi (Sulom) for a quick action.


“We are now working in fear and we need assurance of our safety. However, we know that it is everyone’s responsibility to bring to an end such acts,” he added.

Kuseli refused to confirm the assault by the supporters in fear of breaching the referee governing body’s statutes.

“I am only supposed to explain everything in a report which I submit to Sulom and our association. I have already submitted the report and I am just waiting for their action. For more information talk to Sulom,” Kuseli said.

On Sunday, a Karonga official also slapped referee, Patrick Ngoleka, after accusing him of awarding Mafco a questionable penalty on their way to a 3-1 win.

A few weeks ago, Mafco also wrote NFA, saying referee, Andy Maseko, should never handle any game involving the soldiers.

Last week, Mafco abandoned their game against Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium after accusing referee, Aziz Nyirenda, of incompetence.

A Mafco fan also slapped a reporter at Mzuzu Stadium and some reporters were also harassed on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium.

Recently, a Be Forward Wanderers’ fan also slapped referee, Duncan Lengani. The police intervened to arrest the wayward fan.

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