Super League of Malawi (Sulom) disciplinary committee has slapped Mighty Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets with fines for misconduct during the Blantyre Derby which was abandoned at Kamuzu Stadium due to violence.
A verdict Sulom released yesterday, states that Wanderers have been fined K1.6 million for failing to control their supporters and direct interruption of the normal proceeding of a game.
The verdict reads: “The evidence available, a video footage shows, at the 82nd minute a Be Forward Wanderers supporter, dressed in their colours [blue and white] and sitting in Stand E where Wanderers supporters traditionally sit, was seen breaking a concrete slab. The behaviour of the person is consistent with being angered. Be Forward Wanderers supporters had accumulated anger from the 66th minute when Stanley Sanudi protested a corner kick which was not awarded to them.
“After the protest, the referee showed Stanley Sanudi a yellow card. Instead of stopping the game, the referee let the game proceed and this angered Be Forward Wanderers players, including their captain Manyozo who protested and was yellow-carded together with Ted Sumani. The referee showed a red card to Sumani.
“Bullets scored at 70 minutes and at 82 minutes stones were seen flying from the stands. The reasonable conclusion the committee has drawn is that the Be Forward Wanderers supporters were the ones that were angered. Therefore, it was more likely than not that the persons who threw stones on the pitch were Be Forward Wanderers supporters.
“The evidence of Mr. P. Nkuta, Mr. Mtosa, and Ms. Ndawala and the match assessors report all corroborated this conclusion. However, there was no stone-throwing from Nyasa Big Bullets stands. In the final analysis, the allegation has been proved against Be Forward Wanderers.”
Wanderers defender Sanudi has been banned for two matches for attacking Fifa assistant referee Bernadette Kwimbira Mzika.
“The available evidence shows that Be Forward Wanderers players confronted the referee at 67 minutes. The clip shows Sanudi challenging the first assistant referee [Mzika] to the extent of having physical contact with her. This disturbed the flow of the game,” reads part of the verdict.
However, Bullets have not been spared as they have been fined K500 000 after their supporter invaded the pitch and poured some liquid on Wanderers goal post.
Sulom disciplinary committee has also recommended that National Football Referees Association (NFRA) should discipline the referees led by Gift Chiko, who officiated the match for their incompetence.
“In addition, the committee observed that the first assistant referee [Mzika], had a verbal exchange with the officials/player. This was uncalled for on the part of the player and match official as it exposes them to the danger of undermining the authority of the officiating personnel and result in pandemonium.
“The laws of the game also abhors such engagements. The appropriate thing for the assistant referee to do was to caution the indisciplined player using the cards which are their official tools.
“This can be done at any stage of the game, including before, during or after the match has ended. This verbal altercation, in our view, must have fuelled the anger of the parties and was avoidable if proper cautions were adopted,” the verdict further reads.
Wanderers general secretary Fadweck Matemba said the club will meet to discuss the verdict and come up with a decision.
He said: “We will also consult our legal adviser and see if it is necessary to appeal or not.”
However, he said the Nomads are interested to see the fate of the referees.
“The report says referees caused all what happened. If it wasn’t for the referees, Wanderers would not have been in this situation. So, let’s see what will happen to them.”
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga protested that the individual who invaded the pitch was a Bullets fan.
He said: “Bullets [have] clear features [identity cards] of identifying its supporters. Our supporters had no reason during the match to display misconduct.
“Sitting where Bullets supporters sit is not compelling reason to believe that one is a Bullets supporter.”
Chigoga also said the club is yet to decide whether to appeal the verdict or not.