FA Malawi closes Kamuzu Stadium due to violence

The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) jointly with the Super League of Malawi (sulom) have suspended the use of  the country’s Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre with immediate effect  following violence conducts that happened over the weekend.

There were ugly scenes of violence whereby supporters threw stones onto the pitch leaving on Sunday when Evirom drew 2-2 against league leaders Kamuzu Barracks .

A statement seen by Nyasa Times from FAM  signed by its General Secretary Suzgo Nyirenda and Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda respectively says the decision to close Kamuzu Satdium was reached following continued acts of violence at the stadium.

“This is as a result of continued acts of violence and hooliganism at the venue with the latest being on Sunday, 13th October 2013 during a TNM Super League match involving Evirom and Kamuzu Barracks,” reads the statement in part.

Stewarts trying to clear the pitch at Kamuzu Stadium...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Stewarts trying to clear the pitch at Kamuzu Stadium…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The match was abandoned in injury time due to violence by supporters that led to police to fire tear gas cannisters for what the soccer bodies describe as “unknown reasons”.

This was a third violence scene at the same venue in a space of eight weeks as fans also disrupted two Carlsberg Cup matches; a quarterfinal match between Evrom and Red Lions on 23rd August and a semifinal match between Blantyre United and Kamuzu Barracks on 8th September 2013.

This is happening despite FAM and Sulom great efforts in sensitizing the fans about the evils of such acts on the development of the game in the country as well as enforcing security at football matches

During previous and the latest fracas, a lot of things were damaged at the stadium in the said events forcing FAM and Sulom to cough a lot of money in paying management of the facility to make renovations.

The statement further said such acts have put FAM, Sulom and sponsors Carlsberg and TNM into disrepute.

“Sponsors have stressed that their stay in the game will mainly depend on the games being violence free because they don’t want their brands to be associated with violence.

“Therefore, FAM and Sulom will not allow seeing their efforts go down the drain because of the behavior of some disgruntled supporters who just want to dent the image of Malawi football and indeed that of the two bodies” reads the statement.

Sulom and Fam believes if unchecked, there is a danger that the fights with the army could escalate and degenerate into unprecedented proportions that this country has never witnessed.

Violence has lately been happening at the matches involving army teams against civilians.

“We therefore realize the need to protect the lives of fans, civilians and property, hence the suspension” the statement said.

The decision will be reviewed before the end of the year and a decision will be made accordingly, this is according to the statement.

In Balaka, there were also pockets of violence and play had to be stopped between Mafco and  Mighty Wanderers .

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