An official report filed by the Malawi Police has implicated newly recruited Fam Commercial Director Limbani Matola and Central Region Football Association (CRFA) treasurer Pyson Likagwa in dubious cash transactions during last Saturday’s Chifundo Charity Shield match involving Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.
Despite the huge turn-out at the 25,000-seater Civo Stadium and hiked gate fees, the highly anticipated clash raised only MK11.2 million.
The report, signed by Superintendent Clement Mulera and copied to Football Association of Malawi (Fam), Regional Commissioner of Police and Regional Police Operations Officer, among others has confirmed fears from some stakeholders, including Civo Stadium management of an organised ticket syndicate by Fam secretariat staff and other officials within the association.
According to the report, which Nyasa Times has sourced, some Fam officials engaged people said to be from M & C Company to sell tickets at an unapproved selling point yet there was only one company, Fellowship Association of Malawi (Fama) accredited to sell tickets at designated selling points within the stadium.
When police confronted the unscrupulous individuals from the dubious company, Likagwa, who was reportedly amongst the people selling the tickets told the police officers that the tickets were provided by Fam. Several other Fam officials reportedly backed the CRFA treasurer, prompting the officers to retreat.
Later during the match, the report reveals that Likagwa, Matola and another Fam official were seen in the Stadium Manager’s office counting bunches of cash using the counting machine from the office, when all the cashiers and supervisors were busy counting money in the stadium hall under police supervision.
Civo Stadium staff and other witnesses, who were alerted by Police confirmed the Fam officials had taken one of the cash boxes to the manager’s office.
The police report also observes that tickets pegged at K2,000 were being sold at K1,000 after half time, raising questions as to how the money was going to be reconciled as the tickets were put in one box.
Contrary to the resolutions made during the recent stakeholders meeting on football reforms and the arrangement made during the pre-match meeting that all service providers would be paid through banks, the report reveals that match stewards, first aiders and cashers were paid on the day of the match.
“It can, therefore, be concluded without fear of contradiction that the mess that took place on the day of the match was created by Fam, who breached most of the the arrangements made during the pre-match meeting,” concludes the report.
According to the report, Fam was represented by Likagwa and Matola at the pre-match meeting held two days before the match.
Apart from the flaws exposed by police, the local print and electronic media was also awash with reports that tickets with same serial numbers were being sold at the stadium. Nyasa Times also managed to source the suspicious tickets.
Both Likagwa and Matola could not be reached for their comments as we went to press but the later failed to explain the anomalies when confronted by a reporter from one of the dailies this week, only promising to come back to the reporter, a thing the paper said he did not do.
There have been serious suspicions of a match-ticket syndicate by Fam officials and secretariat staff during games administered by the association. People have been caught selling counterfeit tickets, allegedly provided by Fam secretariat staff but no one has been cautioned.
Almost the entire management from the Fam secretariat- starting from CEO Suzgo Nyirenda, Finance and Administration Manager Christopher Mdolo, the Commercial Director and Competitions Manager Gomezgani Zakazaka were present during the match.
Only transfer marching system manager Casper Jangale was missing in action from the top management.
During the Carlsberg Cup final involving Be Forward Wanderers and Big Bullets last year, the two clubs vehemently resisted Fam’s attempts to sell tickets before the final opting to have all the tickets sold at the match venue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :