The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has overruled life bans on four referees in a match fixing scandal that attracted media attention at home and abroad.
Capital FM carried the story, away it was the BBC World Service, CNN International and Super Sport that reported that referee George Aziz Nyirenda, assistants Limbani Chisambi and Lameck Phiri and match official Stephano Gomani were last year banned for life from any football related activities by the National Referees Committee (NRC).
The NRC found the four men guilty of fixing a 2017 FA cup tie between Chitipa United and Nchalo United at the Mzuzu Stadium in Mzuzu city on 13 July.
In opposition, the FA has through a disciplinary hearing found out that the match was not fixed nonetheless Aziz Nyirenda and Chisambi have been found guilty of not reporting an attempt by officials of Nchalo United to fix the round of 32 FA Cup game.
“The disallowed goal for Nchalo United FC during the match removed any possibility of match fixing and that all available evidence presented suggested that Aziz Nyirenda was not aware of the intended bribe,” reads a statement issued by the General Secretary of FAM, Alfred Gunda.
On the other hand, Nchalo United’s Secretary General, Coach and Technical Director were each found guilty of match fixing.
The three sportsmen have since been banned for 36 months each effective 13 July, 2017 and no stadium entry for 10 months effective 8 February, 2018.
In addition, Nchalo United (NU) have been fined MK500, 000.00 and will have three points deducted from their point tally in the forthcoming Super League season in which they are debutants.
NU joined the top flight league having being promoted from the Southern Region Football Association League (SRFAL) just like TN Stars from the Centre’s CRFAL and Karonga United (KU) from the NRFAL in the country’s northern region.
KU have since sent a warning shot to opponents in the top flight league that they will not win away matches at Karonga Stadium in Karonga district.
United’s daring proclamation follows Saturday’s 1-0 narrow home defeat to eight time super league title holders, Nyasa Big Bullets.
Their coach Christopher Nyambose remained defiant despite losing the test match saying KU will not lose at home in the forthcoming league season claiming to have used the loss work on his side’s weaknesses.
On a similar note his counterpart Elia Kananji noted that the Bullets worked hard to secure the narrow victory so much so fans should be assured of a strong side in the season which kicks off in April.
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The two teams meeting in the final are Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets and the match will be played at the Bingu National Stadium in the capital city Lilongwe where the winning team will walk away with MK15 million.
The Association’s Transfer Matching System Manager Casper Jangale said he was hopeful that the match will be violence free.
He is also calling on football fans to respect the decisions of the referees during the game.
Fans and administrators have been raising concerns over poor officiating in most matches and some referees have been disciplined on the same.
FAM has also announced that it will not sell tickets for the game on the actual day to ensure that there is smooth entry into the stadium.
Apart from that, this will also ensure that no fake tickets are sold on the day of the match.
It is anticipated that gates will be opened at nine in the morning.
Authorities in Malawi are said to be ready to take the country’s FA to task over the senior national team’s continued poor run.
The minister of sports has made the disclosure after Malawi’s winless campaign at the just ended COSAFA Cup. The Flames failed to spark as they lost one match and drew twice without scoring a goal.
Henry Mussa says government is yet to receive a report by the Football Association of Malawi on why Flames’ losing streak is showing no signs of improving anytime soon. It is upon receiving the report that his ministry will engage the FA.
He earnestly believes officials of FAM did not give the country’s ex-international, Ernest Mtawali enough time to coach the team before replacing him with Belgian national, Ronny van Genegden who is four months into his two-year contract signed in April.
Malawi have managed to score a single goal in all their international matches since van Geneugden was hired.
Mussa says the country’s football governing body “lacks a sense of direction and needs to do a lot of soul searching.”
He has gone further to brand Malawi’s jersey at the 2017 COSAFA Cup in South Africa as a huge embarrassment to the nation.
On the other hand, FAM’s Commercial and Marketing director who has conceded that the uniform is indeed oversized says the FA is almost done with the process of buying a new Umbro uniform for the senior national team.
Limbani Matola says FAM is currently sourcing quotations and deal packages from suppliers after a new design was approved.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Competitions and Media manager Gomezgani Zakazaka has been appointed by Fifa to lead the Fifa connect workshop in Zimbabwe on March 1 and 2.