Football analyst Charles Nyirenda has pleaded with the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to step in and find ways of bringing long lasting unity between the longest local traditional rivals Bullets F.C and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.
Nyirenda made the call through Zodiak Radio’s TNM soccer show monitored by Nyasa Times.
Violence led to a premature end of a pre-season friendly game between Be Forward Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers at the Kamuzu Stadium, Blantyre on Sunday afternoon.
The game marked the launch of Japan car dealers Be Forward’s MK70 million ($=MK420) sponsorship for Wanderers.
However, in front of Be Forward officials, anti-Wanderers fans suspected to be Bullets supporters pelted onto the pitch in the 74th minute protesting a red card which referee Waneck Mlenga dished out to Silver midfielder Ndaziona Chatsalira for fouling Cameroonian substitute striker Lionel Asu.
Tempers started boiling in the 73rd minute when Mulenga red carded Silver captain Lucky Malata for fouling Wanderers’ striker Jimmy Zakazaka who won a penalty.
Substitute Cuthbert Sinetre stepped forward to beat Silver goalkeeper Blessings Kameza with a cool shot to the left.
The goal cancelled out the lead Silver had snatched through Blessings Tembo’s wonder direct free-kick which blasted past Wanderers’ goalkeeper Peter Munthali who had, earlier, come in injured Richard Chipuwa.
Policce had to fire into the air to disperse the angry crowd. Some three fans linked to Wanderers’ rivals Big Bullets were arrested on suspicion of perpetrating the violence.
“What happened was very bad because it gives a bad impression to sponsors and what I can advise is that ganyu should end in stands; it should not extend to the field of play” said Nyirenda.
“I am calling upon FAM to step in and I am as well calling upon Bullets and Wanderers supporters to sit down and talk to end all this mess,” he added.
According to Nyirenda, this can be achieved by re-introducing the Supporters Security Network which he claimed helped a lot to curb violence during his days at FAM.
He said violence can only end by using people that can speak one language with ordinary supporters.
“There are people who can talk to the supporters and understand each other, it is not people who put on their nice suits and sit at the VIP stand no! Supporters themselves can choose right people that can maintain peace in open stands and arrest anyone who causes havoc” said Nyirenda.
Meanwhile, Mighty Wanderers have described what happened at the Kamuzu stadium on Sunday as unfortunate.
General Secretary Mike Butao said he believes this was caused by people who do not wish the Nomads well and are not happy that they secured sponsorship.
During the fracas, police arrested a number of supporters that were dressed in red and white attire and were sitting in stands that is usually occupied by Bullets supporters.
But Bullets chairman Kondi Msungama has dismissed the claims that club supporters were involved.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :