Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, who just last three weeks ago lifted the spirits of their fans by winning the coveted Carlsberg Cup, have now turned from being heroes to villains in the TNM Super League.
They have lost two consecutive games of the second round and their fans are not amused at all. Soon after Saturday’s 0-1 loss to Kamuzu Barracks, the players were besieged by their fans and they had to be whisked away.
They were forced to walk to their club house along Lali Lubani Road, after their team bus had to be whisked away to safety for fear it might be damaged.
The supporters’ action posed more risk to the players’ safety since they could have been attacked by anybody to put the blame on the supporters.
Wanderers’ fans, this is not on. You have embarrassed yourselves through such action and that has negatively impacted the players.
What the players experienced might affect their performance in the next games — not as a grudge, but just an instinctive response.
Vice-team manager, Steve Madeira, is right when he told The Daily Times that the Nomads were just going through a bad patch and they will work hard to make amends in the next coming games.
The players need positive support from their fans to overcome this bad patch they are experiencing — not to be jeered by members of their own family.
The team’s loss to Kamuzu Barracks and to Civo United last week, were from strong teams, who might have deserved to win. No player would wish to perform badly.
It’s only in Malawi that such behaviour is done. I’ve never heard of fans threatening their own players’ lives like that.
This should not be tolerated. Something must be done about this by the authorities in order to nip this in the bud. We can’t let this go without letting the fans know that what they did is almost criminal.
The authorities — Wanderers administrators, Sulom and Fam — must rise to the occasion and condemn this behaviour and spell out strict measures that would be taken if it happened again.
The fans should be made to be remorseful because if the authorities remain quiet, they would feel triumphant over their actions — especially if the Nomads win their next game.
The authorities should ask the fans to feel remorseful by apologising to the players and pledge to give the team all the support. The players need to feel they are loved and they would give their all to make amends.
This is an act of hooliganism which has always been condemned by all stakeholders. I am quite sure even the sponsors, Be Forward, are not impressed with what has happened.
Sulom should also take this as violence because it could have escalated into the streets if Wanderers had not acted swiftly to quell the situation.
I congratulate Wanderers administrators for their swift response by whisking the team bus to the safety of the police and escorting the players to the club house.
As for the players, I ask them to put this nasty incident behind them and concentrate on their next assignments. Do not keep a grudge.
We need you players to be in top form so that you might be considered for the Flames’ assignment against Tanzania next month in the World Cup qualifiers.
All the best.
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