Identity of referees earmarked for Sunday’s derby between Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers at Bingu National Stadium remains a mystery as the National Referees Association (NRA) has u-turned on the advance release of names of the officiating personnel.
NRA agreed with Super League of Malawi (Sulom), to be releasing the identities of the referees three days before a game to ensure transparency and minimise risks such as match-fixing.
Elsewhere, including in the United Kingdom, it was announced in June that Bobby Madley, would officiate tomorrow’s Community Charity Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.
But not in Malawi. NRA General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, attributed the failure to release the referees’ names to “objections by some teams” against assigned officiating panel.
“We tried this once, but we started receiving electronic mails from some teams, protesting against the referees. So, it is challenging and it is hard to sustain.
“In other countries such things happen but it seems it cannot work in Malawi. As such, we will release the names at the right time,” Kalichero said without elaborating as to when is the right time.
But Bullets Interim General Secretary, Albert Chigoga, Friday said they had no problem with the failure to disclose the identities of the referees in time.
However, his Nomads’ counterpart, Mike Butao, fears that the names of the officiating personnel might have already been leaked to some teams.
“It does not matter whether we have known the names [of referees] in advance or during the game. Our performance cannot be affected in any way.
“But in our recent games, it has been clear that referees have negative attitude towards Wanderers. We had a scenario where one referee was in charge of our two consecutive league games. How can that be possible?” Butao queried.
Sulom General Secretary, Williams Banda, said: “We do not know why they have been failing to do that. The unfortunate part is that they have never written to us that they are experiencing challenges. So we will follow up.”
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