Referee James Chisunkha is talk of the town in Mzuzu following his embarrassing performance in a TNM Super League match involving Mzuni FC and Civil Service Sporting Club played on Sunday at Mzuzu Stadium.
Chisunkha has a bad record in football refereeing. Several times he has failed to stamp his authority when taking charge of super league games at Mzuzu Stadium.
Coming from a 3 nil win against Moyale Barracks on Saturday at the same venue, Civil Sporting Club was hoping to collect another three points from this particular game.
Mzuzu University students were however determined to deny the visitors six points from their Northern Region tour.
Midfield maestro Lazarus Deco Nyemera was in control of things in the middle of the park for the students with excellent interception of balls and accurate passes.
A well crafted corner by Tiomthy Silwimba in the second minute of added time for the first half, found Wakisa Mwenengube who easily connected the ball into the visitors net to allow the students go for recess with a 1 nil lead.
In the second half, the Lilongwe side came flat out to press for an equalizer.
Just five minutes after recess, Righteous Banda and Raphael Phiri exchanged brilliant passes on the left and laid the ball to Captain Joseph Dudu Kachule whose powerful low drive was fantastically saved by Mzuni’s goalkeeper Chimwemwe Kumkwawa.
The students would have stretched their lead in the 66th minute when Hudson Milanzi’s thunderous shot hit the cross bar.
Joseph Kachule skillfully eliminated Mzuni defenders on the left in the 73rd minute and crossed the ball into the 18metre box but Righteous Banda’s header missed the target.
A minute later the ball touched a hand for a defender for Mzuni in the 18 metre box but the crowd was amazed to see Chisunkha not awarding a penalty.
Then in the 85th minute, a fierce attack by Civil Sporting Club ended inside Mzuni’s danger area and the crowd was again amazed to see Chisunkha blowing his whistle and awarding the visitors a very controversial penalty which Joseph Kachule converted to level the scores.
Immediately after the goal, Mzuni fans, angry with Chisunkha’s decision, started pelting stones into the field of play. The game had to be stopped for about 12 minutes as police officers tried to calm the situation.
When play resumed, Chisunkha blew the final whistle unexpectedly after 2 minutes.
This invited even more anger from Mzuni fans who stormed the pitch to join their players who were already beating referee Chisunkha.
Police fired tear gas to disperse fans and there was no chance for any journalist to get an interview from either of the coaches.
More and more tear gas was fired and this reporter found themselves at Chasefu running away together with more and more innocent fans.
There was a fierce battle between the police and Mzuni students for about an hour before the visiting players could find chance to walk out of the stadium.
Speaking to Nyasa Times on condition of anonymity, one northern region based FIFA referee said he could not understand where Civil Sporting Club’s penalty came from.
“There was a time when we expected him to blow for a penalty for Civil Sporting Club but may be because the player’s hand was not moving; he could be justified for not blowing the whistle. But then he surprised all of us when he awarded that penalty when nobody had handled the ball. In the first place I thought he blew for a fowl or off side against Civil Sporting Club only to see that he is giving them a penalty,” wondered referee.
Chisunkha is a teacher at Nkhorongo Community Day Secondary School and he has been man handled before by secondary school students because of poor officiation in Malawi Schools Sports Association (MASSA) matches.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :