The Sports Council has faulted NAM for failing to apply laws that are consistent with their constitution when they disqualified Tigresses from the Presidential Championships in Lilongwe a fortnight ago.
The council has since cleared Tigresses of any wrong doing following their player Laureen Ngwira’s pregnancy test. The side is now eligible to continue their participation in the Presidential contest.
However, the council panel that handled the appeal hearing on the wrangle between Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) and Tigresses advised NAM to conduct an appropriate disciplinary hearing on allegations of indiscipline against Tigresses players and officials.
“Unless Tigresses players are proved to be guilty of indiscipline in a properly constituted disciplinary hearing, it is wrong that they should be subjected to any disadvantage in the national team call-up, if that is the case,” reads one of the determinations the panel made after the hearing.
According to the panel, which comprised chairperson Patrice Nkhono, secretary Griffins Longwe and board members Yasin Osman and Krishna Achuthan, NAM had no power to dock four points against Tigresses for fielding a pregnant player or to award those points to an opposing team.
It was also determined that, consequently, NAM had no power to disqualify Tigresses from the Presidential Cup because the team is entitled to be restored to the competition and to be credited with their qualification for the semi-final of the competition.
“The committee strongly recommends that proper procedures must be put in place as regards to regular and consistent pregnancy and other types of testing prior to, or during competitions.
However, players’ privacy rights must be fully respected at all times.
“NAM should ensure in future to design bye-laws for their programmes in line with the provisions of the NAM constitution,” state the panelists in the determination document.
However, NAM president Rosy Chinunda said she would not comment anything on the outcome of the appeal hearing until they hold an executive meeting and consult their legal advisers soon.
But Tigresses’ coach Charles Mhango described the verdict as relieving.
He said this vindicated their argument that the issue was deliberately created as a ploy to prevent their players from getting into the Malawi Queens’ squad that travels to Australia today [Friday] for Test Series matches.