Violence reared its ugly face once again during Monnday’s TNM Super League Mzuzu derby between Moyale Barracks and Mzuzu University (Mzuni) FC at Mzuzu Stadium where a player and a fan sustained injuries.
Malawi Defence Force (MDF)-sponsored Moyale player Boy-Boy Chima and a Mzuni fan Pemphero Kathewera were injured as a result of the fracas. The latter has since been admitted to Mzuzu Central Hospital due to the seriousness of the injuries. Others suffered minor injuries.
It all started in the second half when Moyale goalkeeper MacDonald Harawa fouled a Mzuni player Joseph Mbaga. This was after the goalminder had already been shown a yellow card earlier on.
And when referee Ranwell Sibale produced the red card, Moyale players confronted him, forcing the referee to change his decision, a development which irked Mzuni supporters who started throwing objects onto the pitch, leading to Chima’s injury.
The game was stopped for 15 minutes and it took the intervention of police and some officials to restore order.
The violence was re-ignited after the final whistle and the situation worsened when Moyale players were seen rushing to Mzuni supporters and started beating them up.
Both teams blamed the match officials for the fracas, saying they failed to take a firm line.
“You have seen for yourself what has happened. We came to play football, but the referee just decided to spoil the game. We would have won this game. This is not good. We cannot develop the game that way,” said Mzuni assistant coach McNebat Kadzuwa.
On his part, the club’s chairperson Albert Mtungambera Harawa blamed Moyale players for not exercising maturity.
“Of course, I am not happy with the behaviour of Mzuni supporters who threw objects at the assistant referee, but Moyale players should have acted responsibly other than beating up our fans,” he said.
Efforts to seek a comment from Moyale officials proved futile as they pushed The Nation from one official to another.
But in a post-match interview, Moyale coach Charles Kamanga said he expects a stiff punishment to be meted out on Mzuni for provoking the situation.
“Apart from Mzuni fans, authorities need to take the blame for allocating referees that were incompetent,” he said.
Northern Region deputy Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said no arrests have so far been made for the violence.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) vice-general secretary Major Thoko Chazema said he could not comment much as they are yet to get reports from all the stakeholders.
“But we do not condone violence and after we gather all the necessary information, we will look into the issue and rules will apply,” he said.
The game ended one-all.
Mzuni took the lead through Henry Misinjo in the 19th minute, but the soldiers levelled the scores barely two minutes later through Brown Magaga. n