Newly-built Karonga Stadium had to host the first match on Saturday which ended in violence when Karonga United and Luwinga United clashed in Fisd Challenge Cup with officials blaming the host (Karonga United) for the fights.
Karonga United, popularly known as ‘Ingwina’ scored the first goal from Walusungu Mfune before Ned Mhango of Luwinga Uniti equalised in the second half time.
After 90 minutes when the teams could not brral the deadlock, Referee Sibale from Chitipa district called for penalties.
However, Luwinga United players refused to play the penalties after some of them claimed to have been beaten by the Ingwina’s supporters.
The decision to refuse taking on penalties worsened the situation to the extent that some Luwinga United players were sent to the hospital by the police after being attacked.
Senior officials of the Karonga United FC however tried to protect their opponents after seeing the anger of their supporters by taking them to the district police station.
Speaking to Nyasa Times, Luwinga United team manager Joshua Tembo acused Karonga United of putting the game into disrepute.
“Karonga United supporters did that to frustrate our players. Four of our players have been rushed to the hospital by the police,” said Tembo.
However, Karonga United team manager Abraham Mwakhwawa distanced his team from the allegation , saying they did nothing wrong.
FISD official, Dickson Chivwati Gondwe expressed disappointment with the development after the game.
Although construction work is yet to be completed, a stakeholders’ meeting attended by Karonga District Assembly, Local Development Fund (LDF), the contractor, the consultant and stadium committee last Wednesday went on to authorise the match to take place at the facility.
Karonga District Council director of planning and development David Gondwe said the facility is capable of hosting matches.
He said: “The current status of the facility is that most of the construction has been completed. What is remaining is the drainage system.”
Gondwe said they resolved to start hosting matches starting twith the Fisd Cup game involving Karonga United and Luwinga.
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