Expose corrupt club officials, Malawi refs told

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has advised referees to expose club officials who approach them with monetary offers in order for the match officials to influence game outcomes.

The local football governing body has warned that it will deal with any referee or club official found involved in the malpractice, which was apparently rampant in the 2013 soccer season.

Addressing a gathering of football referees, coaches and other soccer administrators during presentation of badges to referees that have been included on Fifa panel at Lilongwe Technical College over the weekend, Fam executive member and chairman of the referees sub-committee James Mwenda said time has come for those engaging in
the practice to be exposed.

Fifa referee Duncan Lengani gets his badge, Pic Leonard Sharra
Fifa referee Duncan Lengani gets his badge, Pic Leonard Sharra

“We are aware as Fam that some referees and club officials have been involved in match fixing. My advice to you referees is that you should expose any club official who tries to bribe you. If you fail to report such cases, it means you are part of the system and Fam will not spare any referee of club official found to be involved in this malpractice,” said Mwenda.

Mwenda also said there were some referees acting as go-betweens for the clubs and fellow officials.

“We know there are other referees who go to clubs with information as to who will officiate their games and
collect payments on behalf of their colleagues.”

General Secretary of the National Referees Committee (NRC) Cris Kalichero admitted some club officials were conniving with referees ahead of games but shifted the blame on the club officials.

“It is the clubs who have been approaching our referees offering them money before games. Clubs are actually making budgets for bribing match officials. We have tackled this issue with the referees at length and the onus is on them to report such cases or face the consequences,” said Kalichero.

Asked if the committee has reprimanded any of its members involved in the malpractice, Kalichero said no member has been punished due to lack of evidence.

“We have not had tangible evidence that so and so was involved but we have been getting complaints from clubs and other quarters,” said Kalichero.

Fifa referee Jones Makuwira takes his turn, Pic Leonard Sharra
Fifa referee Jones Makuwira takes his turn, Pic Leonard Sharra

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