Be Forward Wanderers have appealed against Super League of Malawi (Sulom) disciplinary committee ruling that their abandoned match against Mzuzu University (Mzuni) FC should be replayed.
The Sulom disciplinary body last week ruled that upon considering all the circumstances of the abandoned match “and in light of the findings of fact as read with Article 15 of the Sulom constitution which states that clubs shall be responsible for the actions of their supporters, players and officials”, the match be replayed at a venue closest to the centre from the respective bases of the two teams.
The Nomads and Mzuni were also fined K1.1 million and K1 million respectively for the abandonment.
Among their grounds of appeal filed on Saturday by their general secretary Mike Butao, the Nomads argue that they were judged before the enquiry took place and the decision to postpone the game was made before the hearing took place “and this compromised the enquiry”.
Part of the appeal reads: “The general secretary of Sulom apologised to the sponsors for “the violence” in The Daily Times newspaper and, when queried in The Nation newspaper, said he had to apologise because it is not good when games are ‘postponed’. All this was before the enquiry took place and we lodged official complaints with Sulom on both occasions.”
Wanderers have also protested against the composition of the enquiry team claiming that some members such as lawyers Trouble Kalua and Chrispin Sibande are associated with Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers, respectively.
“Both these teams are our direct competitors for the league title this season being on positions two and three. And curiously, issues involving teams to which these two are affiliated have not been addressed at all this season.”
Wanderers further argue that the enquiry that took place should not have come up with a verdict.
“It was just an enquiry to establish what had happened as even the enquiry chairperson Mr. [Davis] Sado said in his opening remarks. The next course of action should have been to charge the culprits and summon them for a hearing.
“Regarding the verdict itself, we note the following: The fact that there were ‘supporters’ at the entrance is not strange.
“Mzuni never reported inside the stadium. [They] never even communicated to Sulom that they were leaving the stadium due to lack of security nor did they request additional security. They simply left, totally disregarding the rules and it was now Sulom hunting for Mzuni to get an explanation. Simply put, they did not report for the match and should lose the match.
“The referee blew the whistle to conclude the match. What should have happened is what happens when one team fails to report for the match and the referee blows to conclude the match. Points are given to the team that is present. Wanderers should have been awarded the match. The enquiry should have taken place, if at all, after that the match was awarded and after Mzuni protested,” the appeal further reads.
Wanderers also challenge that there is no evidence of assault on Mzuni apart from the team’s submissions
Further reads the appeal notice: “Almost everybody says they did not witness any assault, not even the police. Even the media have been calling it ‘alleged violence’. Most of the submissions are based on hearsay, what the stakeholders heard, not what they saw. Football is a crowd game. How can there be assault on a team at the stadium and no stakeholder sees it? Why has the panel taken every word in the Mzuni submission as gospel truth?”
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said the Nomads have exercised their right to appeal as provided for in the rules and regulations governing the league.
“We are just waiting for them to fulfil other requirements like paying the K450 000 appeal fees,” he said. n