Blantyre teams react to decision to close Kamuzu Stadium: Concerned supporters vow to re-open it

Blantyre based soccer giants have reacted furiously to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (SULOM) decision to suspended use of Kamuzu Stadium for any TNM Super League and national cup games following last weekend’s acts of violence and hooliganism at the venue.

The two soccer bodies jointly suspended the use of the country’s soccer mecca following ugly scenes of violence that erupted on Saturday during a TNM Super League match involving Evirom FC and deposed league leaders Kamuzu Barracks which ended in a two-all draw.

Angry fans throw all sorts of missiles onto the pitch turning the venue into total chaos forcing the police to fire teargas all over.

But reacting to the development, Big Bullets General Secretary, Higger Mkandawire, questioned the two football bodies’ decision while wondering when and where they met to come up with their resolution.

Blantyre United technical director Lawson Nakoma : Its not fair  to close Kamuzu Stadium
Blantyre United technical director Lawson Nakoma : Its not fair to close Kamuzu Stadium

“Let them show us the minutes, the date and the venue where they met to pass their judgment. It is unfortunate [to come up with the decision] because we feel only a few individuals made that decision.

“Why didn’t they consult all the clubs that use Kamuzu Stadium as their home ground before passing their judgment,” queried Mkandawire.

He described the development as unfortunate arguing banning Kamuzu Stadium means denying Blantyre based football fans a chance to watch football.

The Peoples Team chief executive also asked FAM and SULOM to explain to the nation why their press statement shows SULOM General Secretary, Williams Banda, as one of the signatories and yet he is outside the country.

“Where did Williams sign the letter because we understand he is outside the country,” quizzed Mkandawire wondering further how representatives of the two bodies met as the SULOM President, Innocent Botomani, resides in Mzuzu.

“There are many questions which they need to clarify, they have rushed with their decision… This is also surprising because yesterday [Sunday] Big Bullets and Wanderers had no game at Kamuzu Stadium, so why are they punishing us,” he wondered.

Mkandawire said Blantyre teams were planning to meet to map the way forward.

On his part, Mighty Wanderers General Secretary, David Kanyenda, concurred with Mkandawire accusing FAM and SULOM of coming up with a verdict without consulting the involved clubs that use the stadium.

Kanyenda reminded FAM and SULOM that when government closed the facility they failed to negotiate with it until supporters engaged government .

“They were supporters from Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers who took an initiative for the stadium to be re-opened after they told us they do not own the facility. Where have they taken the powers today? And where did they meet and we want the minutes,” demanded Kanyenda.

Lawson Nakoma, Blantyre United Technical Advisor also faulted the two bodies’ decision describing it as emotional.

“They have failed to solve the problem [violence] and now they have resorted in punishing innocent teams,” said Nakoma.

Meanwhile, Mabvuto Chibambo, the man behind the re-opening of the stadium after government closed it some months ago has vowed to push until it reopened.

Chibambo said: “FAM told us last time they had no powers to force government to open the stadium and now where have they gotten the powers? …We are ready to go on the streets to ensure that the stadium is reopened because Blantyre residents will suffer because of a few individuals.”

Chibambo said they would not allow Blantyre football fans to be denied access to watch football just because somebody has failed to stamp out violence.

“Banning Kamuzu Stadium is not an answer because we have teams like Azam Tigers, Blantyre United that use the same facility, “ he said.

Chibambo also wanted to know what FAM and SULOM had done to Kamuzu Barracks’ Ben Hojan who kicked a ball boy, MAFCO FC for beating Mighty Wanderers players in the first round?

“What did they do to Kamuzu Barracks for beating Bullets supporters in Dedza? Nothing! This is where FAM and SULOM lost the plot,’ he concluded.

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