Super League of Malawi (Sulom) this week slapped Moyale Barracks FC and four of its players with various forms of punishment following the violence that occurred during and after the TNM Super League match between Moyale and Big Bullets at Mzuzu Stadium last Saturday.
During the fracas, referee Mabvuto Godoya and his assistants Victor Nkhata and Williams Chidyaonga were badly beaten and wounded by Moyale players and supporters.
Sulom has acted swiftly by slapping with military outfit with a K300,000 fine and ordering the club to play four of its home games away from home. Players Victor Phiri, Timothy Nyirenda and Lovemore Mitengo have been banned from participating in league action for six months and ordered to pay fines ranging from K50,000 to K70,000.
Let me congratulate Sulom especially its treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda for acting swiftly to punish the culprits and Moyale FC. The incident happed on Saturday, September 8, 2012 and within 48 hours, Sulom had convened a disciplinary hearing, which on Tuesday, September 11 came up with a conclusion that Moyale and its players as well as fans were in the wrong.
This is what is supposed to happen when such incidents occur. Previously, cases of this nature have taken so long to be concluded with the authorities uttering words like ‘We are still investigating.’
Mr Somba-Banda, who I understand watched the fracas has demonstrated very good leadership qualities by speeding up the hearing process and making sure justice prevails in time. Remember justice delayed is justice denied.
However, I’m not satisfied with the punishment meted out on Moyale as a club, which has been asked to pay a meager K300,000 and play only four home games away from home.
For a team which runs on tax payers’ or government funds, this is not a punishment. The amount is too little for the club to feel the pinch. Playing four home games away from home is also not an issue for a soldiers’ side like Moyale. From the Mzuzu Stadium, the next alternative venue for Moyale is Chitowe Stadium- which is not too far from the soldiers’ base.
Jumping into their MDF 333 spacious bus and traveling to and from Chitowe will not be unusual for Moyale, who have used the stadium in Dwangwa as their home base before. The best thing for Sulom to do was to make them play the rest of their league games away from home or even let them play some of their home games at Dedza Stadium.
When Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets supporters misbehaved at Kamuzu Stadium, the teams were ordered to play the rest of their league games away from Blantyre. What’s so special with Moyale that they are being told to play only four home games away from home?
*Paul Mutharike is a Nyasa Times ‘Fouling from Behind’ Sports columnist from LilongweFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :