FAM has accused some football fans of being unpatriotic for turning against the Flames during their recent 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Egypt at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
After the 0-4 humiliation, some fans cheered the Pharaohs of Egypt, but jeered at the Flames and threw objects at them as they left the pitch for the dressing room
In a statement issued yesterday, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) said the fans in question showed disrespect to the players.
Reads the statement in part: “FAM is seriously concerned at the lack of respect which some sections of the Malawian football fans have shown to the Flames players on account of the recent results in the two back-to-back games against Egypt and also in a friendly against Lesotho in February 2023.
“In both cases, some fans poured degrading and hurtful comments on the players face-to-face, on social media and through other avenues.
“In the latest case after the Egypt game in Lilongwe, players suffered an avalanche of verbal insults from people along the route as the team travelled from Lilongwe to Blantyre.
“As indicated, FAM shares the pain these recent results have caused, but it does not believe that this is a true reflection of the capabilities of the team.”
FAM has also condemned the conduct of some fans who displayed placards against its president Walter Nyamilandu during the match.
In the statement, the association said Malawi risks Fifa and CAF sanctions for the fans’ conduct.
Some fans displayed placards calling for Nyamilandu’s resignation, a development the association says is against Fifa Disciplinary Code regulations.
Reads the statement: “FAM noted with concern a clearly organised campaign of malice against FAM president Mr Walter Nyamilandu through placards and banners flashed out by some fans depicting hate messages against him.”
According to Fifa Disciplinary Code Chapter Two Article 1, a club or association guilty of such misconduct risks playing matches with a limited number of spectators and a fine of at least CHF 20 000.
The display of the placards comes as the association is gearing up for elections in December.
Nyamilandu, who has been FAM president since 2003, is yet to announce if he will contest.
But FAM says those who are eyeing Nyamilandu’s position should wait until December.
The statement reads: “On account of previous trends in FAM elections year and assuming that this was organised by those who eye Mr Nyamilandu’s position, FAM reminds those who arranged this campaign that Mr Nyamilandu is working as FAM President within the law governing football and that anyone who craves his position should wait for an election.”
Stone Mwamadi, one of those who displayed placards, said he was exercising his right as a Malawian citizen.
He said: “I have the right to demonstrate against something which I feel is wrong. This is freedom of expression. It is our birthright.
“We have seen people demonstrate by displaying placards at matches and they are not banned by Fifa or CAF. Moreover, we didn’t insult anyone. It was a peace demonstration. There was no violence at all.”