Nyasa Big Bullets Football Club is now a big brand in this country under Nyasa Manufacturing Company Limited. The growth of the club has seen its players flying to Karonga for a Super League match and the players are enjoying a good package at the end of each month. Supporters of the club are far behind in accepting the fact that in a football tournament, especially a final like the Airtel Top 8, one team has to fall and one has to be crowned champions.
After eliminating their archrivals, Be Forward Wanderers, from the tournament, Blue Eagles were waiting for them in the finals at Bingu National Stadium on Sunday. The Eagles were too good for the Bullets. Stuart Mbunge’s penalty kick in added time after 90 minutes separated the Eagles from the Bullets.
The reaction of Bullets supporters was a disgrace to every soccer loving fan who wishes Malawi well. When Mzuzu based referee Misheck Juba blew for the penalty and eventually the final whistle, missiles of all sorts were pelted onto the field of play in anger by Bullets fans.
Bullets players and supporters who invaded the pitch were seen manhandling referee Misheck Juba, thanks to police officers who swiftly came to the rescue of the man in charge.
It was so difficult for sports journalists to conduct interviews with technical people from the two sides because of the ugly scenes that marred the stadium as these irate fans were involved in acts of violence and total hooliganism. Organisers had problems to present medals to the runners up and the trophy to the winners.
Where is our football going? When will Bullets fans and Wanderers fans come of age to begin accepting results as they come in football and learn to celebrate together after a final like this one?
I have included Wanderers fans because they are not exceptional when it comes to this kind of behaviour.
Chiukepo Msowoya was seen manhandling referee Misheck Juba. Isn’t this unsporting behaviour for a player of his calibre?
Malawians should wake up as we celebrate 54 years of independence to begin to view sports, and football in particular, as a uniting event where no tear gas should be fired by the police as a result of hooliganism.
FAM and all stakeholders should imminently found solutions to this cancer that is crippling our beautiful game of football. Airtel should not be discouraged and neither should all companies sponsoring football in the country.