The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has suspended regional rotation of referees officiating TNM Super League games.
Coincidentally, there is a resurgence of complaints over officiation.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda confirmed last week that, from this month, they have not met the demands of swapping referees across the regions.
“We do not have the financial capacity. When the season is getting to an end, we tend to owe teams and we are trying to avoid debts. Assigning a referee from Lilongwe to Mzuzu costs us K64 000 each, Blantyre to Lilongwe K54 000 and Mzuzu to Blantyre K80 000,” said Banda.
A referee was pelted in Lilongwe three weeks ago during the game between Escom United and Epac FC.
Last week, Fransisco Scova came under fire for awarding Big Bullets a controversial penalty when they played Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium.
Banda claimed to have “noted that some referees mess up games to force us to rotate them. We asked their committee if they could only rotate the referees, but they said they need the whole set.”
On Friday, National Referees Committee general secretary Chris Kalichero said Sulom was yet to communicate about the abandonment of the rotation system. He dismissed talk that some referees deliberately mess up games.
“The issue of officiation is becoming delicate. It is not easy rotating referees the whole season. What is crucial is transportation. Maybe, they can do this in selected crucial matches,” said Kalichero.
On Saturday, Southern Region Referees Committee general secretary Scova once again stood by his decision to award Bullets a penalty. He argued that a player was tripped in the box. Silver said they will produce video evidence to support their argument against Scova.
“Referees’ rotation is handled by Sulom and our mother body NRC. I just heard this [stoppage of rotation] from NRC president Patrick Kapanga. Rotation helps in changing people’s mentality. But Sulom’s remarks that some referees mess up games deliberately are unfortunate. It hurts. Sulom is merely running away from its responsibility,” Scova said on Saturday.