Things are not rosy for Mighty Be Forward Wanderers in their TNM Super League title campaign. They have just six points from the five games played in which they have won one match, drawn three and on Saturday they were beaten 2-3 by visiting Salima-based Mafco at Kamuzu Stadium.
They expected nothing but a win against Mafco. They badly needed to win after their arch rivals Nyasa Big Bullets won their match the previous day at the same venue.
Bullets fans also turned up in large numbers to give moral support to the soldiers, whom they drew 2-2 with the previous week at Chitowe in Dwangwa. Wanderers fans were so happy that the Bullets drew and made so much noise against their arch rivals.
So the Bullets went in large numbers to make sure they rally against Mafco for the soldiers to beat the Nomads.
When the Nomads conceded a goal as early as the 4th minute, Bullets fans were deliriously happy and continued to support Mafco even when Wanderers equalised as they went for half time.
Mafco took another lead early in the second half only for Wanderers to cancel it. While the Nomads fans anticipated their team to make the killer punch — since their team were playing quite some good passing football — Mafco had other plans and hit where it hurt most.
It was a very painful outcome for the Nomads but instead of accepting the defeat gracefully, the fans converged outside the dressing rooms, baying for the blood of their goalkeeper Bester Phiri, whom they accused of softly letting in all the goals.
The fans pelted their team bus with stones as it drove out of the stadium’s dressing room car park and many started rushing towards to the club house to vent their anger with obvious intent to cause more damage.
The police had to rush to the clubhouse along Lali Lubani Road to try and bring sanity to the scornful fans. Most of our fans are opprobrious whenever their team is not doing so well and they vent their scorn on every scapegoat they could pin point. On Saturday, their target was the goalkeeper as well as their coach Jack Chamangwana.
I believe that our fans, especially those for the two arch rivals, harbour so much violent attitude and that’s why no matter how you can civic educate them that violence does not pay, they never take any heed.
Their teams have always been severely punished for the actions of their supporters. The team officials as well as the governing bodies — Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) — have tried to plead to the supporters that violence shall not be condoned but still, the fans have always ignored all supplication.
Football in Malawi has always suffered because of this violent attitude by the supporters. I think the best way is to keep reminding the fans of the consequences of their violent behaviour by talking to them at the beginning of every match.
I believe that the powers that be should invest in public address system to be used to address the fans at the beginning of every match. Captains from both sides should speak and sometimes bring in some of the former heroic players to add in to the voice of the campaign.
It should always be reminded that this is all about sportsmanship and that one has to win or lose.
Please invest in the public address systems. The ones available at some of the venues don’t work. They can also be used to entertain the crowd through music as they fill in the stadia and at half time.
In other countries, the fans are told of who has scored through the public address systems. Most fans ask their seat neighbours who are listening to the radio commentaries of who has scored after failing to recognise who has done so, especially in goalmouth melee.
Please, dear fans, desist from acts of violence for football to remain the beautiful game.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :