In a rather surprise move, National Referees Committee (NRC) has asked Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to postpone all the weekend TNM Super League games to allow its members attend a seminar on Laws of the Game in Salima.
Confirming the development, NRC general secretary Cris Kalichero said his body has already notified Sulom about the development.
“It is true we have asked Sulom to postpone the weekend games. We are having a seminar for referees in Salima on Saturday and Sunday and we do not want to assign inexperienced referees for the weekend games. We had asked Sulom to sponsor a seminar for referee ahead of the season but they turned down the request. We got funds for the workshop from Football Association of Malawi (Fam),” said Kalichero.
Asked why the referees’ body had to wait for the league administrators to release the weekend fixtures before announcing the workshop, Kalichero said: “We have not flouted any procedure. According to the league’s rules, games can be postponed 48 hours prior to kick-off and we have informed Sulom 48 hours before the games’ kick-off.”
But Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda, who has been handling most of the secretarial work in the absence of Sulom general secretary Williams Banda- who is studying abroad – said the league cannot act on the referees’ body’s request because it had not received official communication.
“We have not received any official communication. The referees were supposed to write us but I am just hearing this from the grapevine,” said Somba-Banda.
But Kalichero countered that he had sent text messages to Somba-Banda and Sulom vice president Daud Suleman notifying them about the development. He also said his chairman Patrick Kapanga had been in touch with the Sulom leadership on the issue.
Quizzed if the referees were trying to play tit-for-tat after receiving a cold shoulder from Sulom on the issue of the pre-season workshop, Kalichero said: “It’s not tit-for-tat. Of course we were supposed to have this seminar before the season but Sulom saw it fit not to entertain to our request and we have got funds from Fam. The workshop was long overdue.
Further squeezed why they could not shift the workshop to next week, Kalichero said: “We started crying for this refresher course long time ago and we cannot wait any longer after receiving the financial backing from Fam.”
Meanwhile, the Sulom leadership has reportedly engaged Fam president Walter Nyamilandu to intervene on the matter.
Amongst the weekend fixtures, league leaders Be Forward Wanderers are expected to visit Kamuzu Barracks at Dedza Stadium before daring Blue Eagles at Nankhaka Ground on Sunday.
Second-placed Mafco are expected to play Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium with struggling Civo United hosting fellow strugglers Epac FC.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :