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Violence mars Blue Eagles game

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BY MABVUTO KAMBUWE

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) was forced to slash gate charges for the TNM Super League match involving Blue Eagles and Be Forward Wanderers at Nankhaka Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday due to crowd trouble.

Gate charges for open stands were pegged at K1,500 but spectators protested against the amount until it was slashed to K1,000.

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Police were involved in running battles with the fans who pelted stones, before Sulom bowed down to pressure. The game grossed K4.6 million.

The law enforcers used tear gas to dispense the angry crowd which lost patience as the game was in progress.

Some spectators were injured during the protest.

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One fan, whose identity is not known, sustained head injuries.

Eventually, there was calm after the gate charges were reduced.

A similar incident happened at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe during the season’s league opener between Nyasa Big Bullets and Kamuzu Barracks.

Sulom also bowed down to pressure after the fans started pelting stones.

Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba- Banda, Monday described the tendency of the fans as ‘unfortunate’.

“What happened at Nankhaka is unfortunate and a setback to improving the country’s football standards. We are all dismayed by the performance of our football teams in comparison with international standards. Unfortunately, we cannot improve the standards without any form of financial investment,” he said.

“Gate revenue is the major stream of finance for the teams, ground owners and other football stakeholders. It is, therefore, important that we equally contribute to raising football standards by paying a fair share through the gate fees.”

Wanderers won the match 3-0 with a brace from Esau Kanyenda and one goal from Peter Wadabwa.

Silver Strikers lead the log table with 23 points from 10 games, one point above second-placed Bullets from the same number of games.

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