Malawi National Council of Sports has appointed a 10-member task force to investigate issues of gate revenue fraud and theft at football matches.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the council’s board chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said the task force is also expected to come up with a comprehensive strategy and framework of arresting the vice.
“Once approved by the ouncil, this strategy and framework will become the operating guideline for gate collections at football matches. The council may also modify the strategy and framework for use in other sports disciplines,” he stated.
“The task force will complete its work and submit its report to council by August 30.”
Gate fraud cases are on the rise with some clubs complaining that their gate revenue at crowd-pulling matches do not tally with the patronage.
The council’s move comes after reigning champions Nyasa Big Bullets suspended their accountant Jeremiah Mwagomba pending investigations for his alleged involvement in a plot to under declare gate revenue for their TNM Super League match against Wakawaka Tigers at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
It also comes a few weeks after the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court convicted and fined six people arrested for stealing K440 000 during another top-flight league clash between Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Sable Farming at Kamuzu Stadium on April 16.
The task force, which has the council’s board member Richard Nyirongo as chairperson and its acting-executive secretary Sherphod Boma as secretary, also includes Ministry of Youth and Sports director of sports Jameson Ndalama, Football Association of Malawi general secretary Alfred Gunda, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) treasurer Malinda Chinyama, Nation Publications Limited sports editor Garry Chirwa and Kamuzu Stadium manager Irene Mkoko. Others are representatives from the Treasury, Local Government Ministry and the Malawi Police Service.
Clubs have welcomed the council’s initiative as a development that will add weight to the fight against gate fraud.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said: “Any ideas aimed at sanitising the gate management system are welcome. As a club, we will also continue to take a proactive approach to ensure that there is sanity in the gate management system.”
Wanderers business and gate revenue committee chairperson Chris Gondwe said while they were delighted with the initiative, they would have loved Sports Council to include club representatives in the task force.
“We have been fighting this syndicate independently and that is why revenue has improved and some culprits have been identified.
“So, for the council to win this battle and achieve good results, they needed to involve us in one way or another because gate management is handled