Poor planning cost Football Association of Malawi (Fam) a big fortune as scores of fans went in for free with others going back without watching Sunday’s Presidential Cup round-of-16 match involving Silver Strikers and Big Bullets at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The stadium was filled beyond its capacity but still scores of fans failed to get in as gates were closed before the game’s kick-off after the stadium had reached its capacity. Some fans were seen arriving at the stadium in open tracks after the gates had already been closed.
The development let to hundreds of fans jumping the stadium fence with police officers just watching the developments. The police officers had little control over the situation as they were too few to curb the
situation. The officers might have also taken consideration of the fact that the entry gates had been closed.
A total of 40 police officers were deployed for the match, which was way below the required number of officers for such a high profile match.
At the time of filing this story, money was still being counted but one thing that was clear was that Fam had lost an opportunity of making a killing out of the entry fees.
Observers felt the entry fee of K300 for the open stands was too little for a game of such magnitude and accused Fam of not hiking the fees to at least K500 to control entry of spectators.
Fam officials present at the stadium including competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka and general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda admitted the flaws, saying the situation could have been different had the fees for the open stands been hiked.
The game ended 1-0 in favour of Silver Strikers, who scored through wonderboy Chawanangwa Kaonga, formerly of Civo United after 75 minutes.