Military side Mafco FC has been slapped with a K7000,000 fine by the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) for causing match abandonment in their match against fellow soldiers Moyale Barracks at the Mzuzu Stadium on 16th October 2016.
Mafco FC players led by their captain refused to continue playing the match in the 75th minute and walked out of the pitch following discontent with a referees decision.
It was also alleged that club Team Manager Lt. Col Chawezi Ngwira assaulted and injured a journalist on duty Madalitso Phiri who was trying to take pictures of whatever was happening.
The team was however called for a disciplinary hearing by Sulom which was held on 22nd October 2016 and it was represented by three people namely Lt. Col. Richard Chagonapanja, Lt. Col. Chawezi Ngwira-Team Manager and player Josephy Donsa.
At the hearing, they were charged two counts that of causing abandonment which is contrary to Article 21 (8) of Sulom Rules and Regulations as read together with Article 56 of Fifa Disciplinary Code and the other one of bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to Article 21 (9) of the Sulom Rules and Regulations.
During the match day, Mafco claimed the referee spoiled the game by denying them a penalty as well as flashing of a red card to their player Donsa.
In their defence, Mafco said the red card was unwarranted and the referee never told them his final decision whether he would have awarded the penalty before they had walked out.
The defence team also claimed that the referee never blew a whistle marking the end of the match after the abandonment and also that the game did not end in the 75th minute as alleged.
Thereafter, Sulom upon hearing the facts presented by Mafco querried who has the responsibility of making a final decision in the game of football.
Sulom therefore reminded Mafco that “Sulom Rules and Regulations Under Article 26 (2) states that referees and their Assistants handling a match shall exercise their powers granted to them by the laws of the game”.
“Under Law 5 of the laws of the game, the referees is responsible for enforcing the laws of the game. He is the final decision making authority in all matters affecting a match and as it is being played” reads part of the determination letter released by sulom on Thursday.
Mafco were also at fault for not following procedures of handling a game which they believe the officiation was bad.
According to Article 23, the team captain is suppposed to notify the referee through to the team to play under protest and submit a written protest within a period on 48 hours.
“Mafco’s conduct was tantamount to usurping the powers of the referee FINES in line with Article 21 (8) of the Sulom Rules and Regulations, we find Mafco guilty of causing abandonment of the game between Mafco and Moyale FC and accordingly fine them a sum of K700,000.00 (Seven Hundred Thousand Kwacha). This must be paod before Mafco FC club’s next match (Fixture)” reads the determination.
Assault of journalist
On the second charge of bringing the game of football into disrepute by assaulting jounalist Madalitso Phiri, Sulom strongly condemned the behaviour and warned that all involved will be sevrely punished.
But Sulom while describing the allegations of Phiri as grave, Sulom failed to pass any judgement claiming there was no enough evidence that the reporter was assaulted by the alleged Mafco official.
The disciplinary committee said a letter fro Sports Writers Association of Malawi (SWAM) complaining on the same did not carry weight as the undersigned was also not present at the venue where the incident took place.
“It is the finding of the committee that although rhe allegation in the attack of Mr. Madalitso Phiri is very grave and should be condemned in the strongest terms, the said allegation has not been colaborated by othe witnesses evidence or report apart from authored by the victim himself”
“It is therefore of the viewe that it requires colarative evidence/report if it is to make a finding of guilty on the matter” reads the statement.
Meanwhile, Sulom has asked Phiri and SWAM to seek other avenues where the accused can be charged with a Civil or Criminal charge since the act was beyond football act.
Phiri’s mobile phone was damaged during the fracas and had his eye injured.
Meanwhile, Sulom has appealed supporters and teams to give room to journalists do their work freely.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :