Former Malawi national team and Silver Strikers midfield work horse, Hellings Mwakasungula, says he failed to appeal to world football governing body Fifa against his life ban on football matters because he failed to raise money that had to be sent for the appeal.
Fifa banned for life the former Flames player, who was Silver Strikers team manager, from all football-related activities after being found guilty of being involved in match manipulation in violation of Article 69 Part 1 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.
The Fifa Disciplinary Committee found the Malawian guilty in connection with alleged match-fixing during the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola where he was part of the Malawi squad.
Mwakasungula was in the Malawi national football squad that qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 hosted by Angola under Coach Kinnah Phiri.
The team gave every Malawian hope when they beat North African giants Algeria 3-0 in their opening match at 11 November Stadium. Rusell Mwafulirwa scored Malawi’s first goal in the first half while Elvis Kafoteka scored the second. Former Red Lions midfielder Davie Banda scored the last goal. The team was captained by Peter Mponda who always wore jersey number 7 and Hellings Mwakasungula was a regular starter wearing jersey number 13.
After this game, Malawi performed miserably in subsequent matches and never got out of the group stages.
About 8 years later, the Malawi soccer fraternity was shocked to hear a FIFA report that Mwakasungula was involved in serious match fixing at the 2010 Afcon in Angola.
The ban also took him away from Zodiak Televison where he was one of the panellists in a programme called Game Plan alongside veteran football pundit Charles Nyirenda, nicknamed Grandmaster. He was also chopped from Silver Strikers technical panel.
Speaking to Foster Mkwamba on Ufulu FM, Mwakasungula said it was so painful that he was banned from something that he has passion for.
“It is very disappointing that such a thing happened. It pains me so much that I was banned from something that I have passion for. It’s unfortunate that some people never helped me because I thought this was a national issue.
“I tried to appeal but I was told there was a fee that we had to pay but the money could not be realised. I repeat, this experience pains me but I hope God has a plan for me in allowing this to happen to me,” lamented Mwakasungula.
When Mkwamba turned to analyst Higger Mkandawire, Mkandawire said the problem was that Mwakasungula was working in isolation without involving FAM.
“I understand there were some people who were helping Hellings without involving FAM. The best way would be to involve FAM and seek advice but he was working independently. I believe if he involved FAM, he would have been assisted,” Mkandawire remarked.
Mwakasungula was implicated by Fifa after an extensive investigations by Fifa, which also saw eight others from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sierra Leon, Benin, Trinidad and Tobago and Afghanistan punished.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :