Sulom investigating Mafco over ref’s assault



The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has launched an investigation into reports that some Mafco FC players beat up referee Esther Zimba after Sunday’s TNM Super League match against Nyasa Big Bullets at Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.

Bullets won the game 2-1 through a late penalty which the home side claimed was dubious.

Sulom general secretary (GS) Williams Banda said: “We have already launched investigations into the matter, but we are waiting for the remaining reports from other stakeholders.

“But the information before us is that four Mafco players [names withheld] physically assaulted the referee.

Bullets and Mafco in a previous league encounter

“In fact, after the match, the referees did not go to the dressing room but were whisked away to Nkhunga Police Unit.”

The Sulom GS also said despite a copy of a letter written by Mafco FC complaining against officiation, which has been circulating on social media, they have not received any complaint from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF)-sponsored side.

“In as far as we are concerned, Mafco have not lodged a complaint, neither have we received a report from them as a team,” he said.

According to the letter signed by general secretary Jimmy Chisenga, Mafco claim that during the match, they were denied two clear penalties when they had their striker Martin Masoatheka brought down in the penalty box and when a Bullets player deliberately handled the ball  in the box, “but the the referee on both occasions just waved play on”.

“Apparently, the referee went on to award Bullets a penalty few minutes later when a Mafco defender neatly cleared the ball, but  a Bullets striker ‘dived’ in the box.”

The letter also claimed that the referees assigned to handle the match never attended the technical meeting before the game.

“As Mafco we are not satisfied with the result and ask your good office to nullify the results and investigate the matter,” reads the letter addressed to Sulom GS and copied to its legal service committee and National Football Referees Association (NFRA).

Mafco coach Temwa Msuku had no kind words for the referee after the match, saying: “Our football is being spoiled by match officials. The referee awarded a dubious penalty just because he had already planned. Otherwise, the worst result for us was supposed to be a draw.. It is a shame to our game.” n

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