In an unbelievable circumstances, a man believed to be insane and an ex Malawi Defence Force soldier caused a halt to a tense match between Moyale Barracks and Silver Strikers on Sunday afternoon at Mzuzu Stadium when he went past the perimeter fence to disturb proceedings on the field of play.
A few minutes into the second half, a man in a white shirt and a black pair of trousers with socks on his feet but without shoes was seen disturbing ball boys on the far side of the field inside the perimeter fence, just in front of Moyale Barracks supporters. He then started exercising in form of push ups drawing the attention of spectators away from the action on the field of play.
Youthful referee Newton Nyirenda had to stop the game to ask the Match Commissioner Lusungu Mtumbula to intervene. Mtumbula charged at the stewards to timely deal with the man. When two male stewards went to catch him, he complied to get out of the perimeter fence but soon overpowered them and started running round, outside the perimeter fence. He vanished into the crowd and play resumed.
But later in the 71st minute, the man was back inside the perimeter fence and marched towards Silver Strikers bench where he started displaying some military parade skills in front of the technical panel and players.
The ref had to stop the game again and when stewards appeared, he raced around the running track towards Silver Strikers goal. Sensing the mishap he was causing on the game, Moyale Barracks towering midfielder Boyboy Chima got off the field of play and caught him behind Silver’s net, brought him down and gave him some kicks before two police officers came over to arrest him and threw him into their mobile cell popularly known by Malawians as “Chimbaula”.
Commenting on the incident, coach for Silver Strikers Lovemore Fazili said it was unfortunate that security personnel were failing to discharge their duties regarding such a case when they are always paid after each game.
“People come into the stadium to watch football and not personality shows but the security people were watching if not dreaming until things got worse. Such incidents, if not carefully handled could lead to something so disastrous,” remarked Fazili.
On his part, Moyale Barracks coach Charles Kamanga said stewards and police officers should make sure they do the job they are paid for and not spending time on whatsapp as some of them do.
“It’s quite deplorable. That person is mentally challenged and he lost his job due to his condition but the police were very slow in dealing with him. Now Silver Strikers would think he was doing that as a Moyale Barracks supporter when in fact he is insane,” added Kamanga.