Malawi: Wanderers Alleges Corruption in Blantyre Derby

Mighty Wanderers FC has brought in some allegations of corruption to do with the premature end of the much-anticipated Blantyre derby against their age-old archrivals, Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.

In a statement, the Nomads are asking Super League of Malawi (SULOM) and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to decisively act on centre referee Gift Chiko and first assistant referee Bernadetta Kwimbira, saying their "dubious and suspect decisions are ruining the beautiful game in this country".

"The officiating crew of yesterday should not be found anywhere near football," says the Nomads chairperson in the statement. "I hope very much that FAM and SULOM will look at the TV recording of the match to form a view about the acceptability of the two's performance and their suitability to referee future matches."

Wanderers also say they will lodge a complaint to Referees Association of Malawi and the Anti-Corruption Bureau if FAM and SULOM do not "act against the two as we are gathering evidence from mobile phone service providers".

However, the element of corruption has prompted referees to circulate a threat on social media, saying they are also reviewing the match to determine what went wrong.

The referees say if FAM does not punish Ted Sumani for allegedly vulgarly abusing Kwimbira (yemwe anatchula za mu pant) they are going to report to the world football governing body, FIFA.

The referees also encourage Kwimbira that she has the rights to legally sue Sumani for the alleged vulgar abuse.

They also hint that if Sanudi is not punished by banning him for allegedly attempting to assault Kwimbira and also allegedly touching her private parts, they will also lodge a complaint to Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA.

They also hint that Sanudi risks being arrested for allegedly attempting to touch Kwimbira private parts as this is against human rights laws.

The referees further threaten that if Wanderers are not punished for their fans' alleged attempt to assault the refs, who were rescued by the armed police, they will also lodge a complaint to CAF and FIFA.

In the statement, the Nomads condemn Chiko and Kwimbira, saying "their suspect and dubious decisions disrupted an otherwise good match and changed the fate of the game" saying: "It is sad when good football is not allowed to win on the pitch."

The Nomads scored first in the 14th minute through Stanley Sanudi before the Bullets equalised in the second half from Yunusu Sherrif's own goal.

However, some controversial decisions by referee, Chiko and Kwimbira led to some chaotic scenes following the denial of a second goal scored by Peter Cholopi from a corner kick for a foul.

The saga reached a boiling point when Sanudi was denied a corner kick that led to the player being furious by accosting Kwimbira why she denied him the corner kick.

In the process of complaining, captain Alfred Manyozo Jnr and Ted Sumani joined in to accost Kwimbira leading to ref Chiko to rush to the scene where he flashed the yellow card to Manyozo and Sumani, who was already shown another card in the first half.

This development angered the Nomads fans, who pelted stones in anger of the decisions.

In the statement, Wanderers says it hopes the football authorities will review such suspect decisions, "using video footage which is readily available and establish the root cause of such actions, to ensure that football is the winner all the time".

"The officiating crew made quite extraordinary and inexplicable decisions. The officiation fell a long way short of the standard that should have been considered acceptable."

Meanwhile, the Nomads management condemns 'in the strongest terms' the perpetrators of the stone throwing that led to the police firing the tear gas and ended into the match being abandoned after 80 minutes of play.

Wanderers say these fans, while not acknowledging whose they were, "are not soccer loving people and have no place in our beautiful game".

"We hope and believe that those mandated with law enforcement will swiftly bring the perpetrators to book."

As for Nyasa Big Bullets, they have issued a club statement on their Facebook profile, applauding their fans for sportsmanship during the Blantyre derby

"The management of Nyasa Big Bullets Football Club is satisfied with, and touched by the sporting behaviour displayed by our supporters during the TNM Super League match against our arch-rivals, Mighty Wanderers FC.

"Despite the game ending prematurely due to some scenes of hooliganism perpetrated by some spectators, our supporters were not provoked in any way but continued to cheer their beloved team.

"The Club would like to encourage them to remain disciplined and always exercise restraint amidst any temptations of provocation.

"Football is an organised sport that is governed by laws -- it is a game that brings people of all walks of life together and it is a game that promotes fair play.

"Our ethos as a club is upholding shared values with all football stakeholders. We advise all football loving Malawians to desist from acts of hooliganism," said the statement.

More From: Nyasa Times

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.