BB handed lifeline on Airtel Top 8 participation

Nyasa Big Bullets have a chance to have their ban from participating in 2019 Airtel Top 8 overturned following Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) decision to allow the People’s Team to appeal.

Bullets were fined K7.2 million and banned from participating in 2019 Airtel Top 8 following the violence that erupted after the cup’s final match against Blue Eagles at Bungu National Stadium in Lilongwe in July.

Flashback: A fan throws an object on the pitch during the fracas

But a statement issued by FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday says Bullets have been granted a chance to appeal the ruling.

“Bullets wrote the FAM executive committee requesting for consideration that they should appeal as the delay to submit the initial one was as a result of communication breakdown,” reads in part the FAM GS statement.

Bullets supporters went on the rampage after the referee awarded a late penalty to Eagles which Stuart Mbunge converted to hand the Malawi Police Service (MPS) outfit a 1-0 victory.

In August, Bullets’ appeal was rejected on the grounds that it was submitted after the 48 hours deadline.

“Apart from submitting their appeals letter outside the 48-hour ultimatum, they also failed to pay the appeals fee to the disciplinary committee. If they are not satisfied with our verdict then they have to make an appeal at the Arbitration Court of Sports, otherwise, Bullets will have to pay K7.2 million within 21 days and they will not be part of next year’s competition,” Jabbar Alide, who heads the FAM Competitions Cub-committee, said when Bullets were denied a chance to appeal.


Bullets and Eagles battling it out in the final

But in a twist of events, FAM has softened up on the matter, a development analysts feel is aimed at ensuring Bullets play in next year’s edition of the competition.

“At the end of the day, Bullets will always be Bullets. They are a crowd puller and fining them K7.2 million and preventing them from participating from the next edition of Airtel Top 8 was a bit harsh. Having a cup without Bullets is bound to have an effect on the morale of the cup as well as revenue from gate collections,” said soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda.

Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya said he could not comment because they were yet to get communication from FAM.

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