Bullets fined K1.2m for violence: 4 top fans banned

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has cracked its whip on Big Bullets FC  with a total of K1,250,000 fine after the Super League governing body’s Central Region Disciplinary Committee found them guilty of causing violence on Sundayat Silver Stadium during a league game against Epac United.

Epac ended Bullets’ honeymoon in the TNM Super League with a 1-0 win through a penalty which was converted by Jafalie Chande.

Sulom has also banned Bullets supporters committee chairman Isaac Jomo Osman for one year and two other supporters Alex Mwale and Robert Nyasulu for two years not to watch either league or cup game.

Bullets have been fined K450,000 each for disrupting the game by throwing in the pitch stones and bottles and inciting violence while another K300,000 has been meted out for failing to control their supporters Mwale and Nyasulu who snatched an assistant referee flag and players cards.

They have also been held to meet the cost of repairing Epac team bus which was damaged during the violence within one month.

But the  disciplinary committee found referee Roy Williams at fault for playing a hand in causing the violence by being  incompetent but it has referred him National Referees Committee to determine his fate.

Williams decision to award a penalty to Epac in the 59th minute after adjudging Sankhani Mkandawire to have fouled Jaffalie Chande sparked the heated protested from Bullets players and supporters which caused the violence to break out.

“It is the finding of the disciplinary committee that referee Roy Williams displayed considerable lack of competence in handling the game. This was evidenced by vote of no confidence expressed in the reports by various stakeholders including Big Bullets and EPAC FC. His poor refereeing contributed to the disturbance at the stadium. Our recommendation is that the National Referees Committee should look at his handling of the game and possibly discipline for his incompetence,” states the verdict in part.

The disciplinary also blamed the Police for poor handling of the violence. “It is also the finding of the Disciplinary Committee that the handling of security at the stadium by the police left a lot to be desired in that their resort too firing teargas caused commotion,” it states.

Bullets fans.-Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Bullets fans.-Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

The referee of the match, Roy Williams, was accused of being incompetent and Bullets general secretary Harold Fote and Coach Elia Kananji said they suspected their opponents bribed the referee.

Patron for  Epac Dini Josaya-Banda admitted that there was a lot of tension prior, during and even after the match because of the controversy surrounding the switch of players between the two teams, referring to Pilirani Zonda and Mussa Manyenje who joined Bullets and goalkeeper Owen Chaima who moved to Epac.

“It was a highly temperamental game, but the fact of the matter is that we beat them and it is not the first time we have beaten them,” said Josaya-Banda.

But Bullets General Secretary Harold Fote said the team would comment on the heavy punishment after being served with the verdict.

“I cannot comment on our reaction to the verdict before we look at it critically because we have not received it,” Fote said.

But before the verdict Bullets Secretary disclosed that the team would not have problems to pay for Epac team bus repair costs if it would be proved that it was damaged by their supporters.

The verdict has put Bullets in a tight corner as the Carlsberg Cup game in the round of 16 scheduled forFriday at Kamuzu Stadium against Ndirande Icons.

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