Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Airtel Malawi have condemned the acts of violence carried out by Nyasa Big Bullets players and supporters at Bingu National Stadium after the team’s Airtel Top 8 Cup final defeat at the hands of Blue Eagles on Sunday, July 1, 2018.
Eagles won the match through a contentious penalty awarded by Mzuzu based referee Misheck Juwa in added time after Eagles striker Gilbert Chirwa had gone tumbling inside the box following a challenge from Bullets’ defender Yamikani Fodya.
Soon after the whistle, Bullets players led by Chiukepo Msowoya pounced on the referee before other players and supporters joined the fray. As police and game Stewarts fought against the aggressive Bullets’ followers, a rain of missiles poured onto the pitch from the stands occupied by Bullets fans.
People, including VIPs in suits were seen scampering around for cover as police deployed more forces into the stadium to contain the ‘Red Army’ as Bullets fans proudly call themselves.
It took over 10 minutes for the situation to calm down on the pitch but the missiles continued flowing from the Western stands until the security forces cleared the stands to pave way for the trophy presentation.
As the Bullets fans left the stadium, they laid their hands and weapons on some stadium property and smashed one of the brand new police pick-ups donated by the government of the People’s Republic of China. They also injured one of the stadium guards from a private security firm, who was rushed to Kamuzu Central Hospital.
Surely, this could not be the influence of Nyasa cigars on the part of the aggressors. It could have been something else stronger.
Meanwhile, Fam and Airtel have strongly condemned the violence, describing the behavior by Bullets fans as uncivilized, retrospective and unacceptable.
Speaking to journalists in the aftermath of the incident last evening, Airtel Managing Director Charles Kamoto said the sponsors were saddened by the developments.
Kamoto said: “We would like to issue a warning….a serious warning against the acts of violence.”
He added: “We are disappointed with what has happened and we condemn the violence in the strongest terms. We are going to leave it to the organizers to take the appropriate measures.”
Fam president Walter Nyamilandu said he was disappointed to see the party being spoiled right at the end: “Everything had been going on well and we had a very good turn-up this afternoon. It’s unfortunate to see the ugly scenes resurfacing in football. This is uncivilized behavior and it is unacceptable.
“Football is a game where one has to win and the other one lose. We have seen what has happened and have the footage. Appropriate measures will be taken after a review of the whole saga,” said Nyamilandu.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya said they will issue a statement on the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :