Referees body sitting on Chicco’s verdict

The National Referees Committee (NRC) has not yet taken any action on referee Gift Chicco, following a recommendation by the Super League of Malawi (SULOM) to have him disciplined.

Chicco is in the books of rivals Mighty Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets as someone who brought chaos in a Blantyre derby between the two sides played on May 1 at Kamuzu Stadium.

Both sides complained on how referee Chicco and his first assistant, Bernadetta Kwimbira, handled the match saying a good number of crucial decisions that the duo made were questionable. Among other acts that irked the two sides, Chicco allowed the game to continue while disciplining Wanderers’ defender Stanley Sanudi who had issues with the first assistant referee, and Bullets almost scored.

Referee Gift Chicco

In its determination released on May 19 after the sitting of the Super League of Malawi Disciplinary Committee on 14th May 2021, SULOM asked the National Referees Committee to discipline the officiating personnel that handled the game as Wanderers and Bullets were fined K1,602,000.00 and K500,000, respectively for their own offences that forced abandonment of the game after 75 minutes.

General Secretary for National Referees Committee, Chris Kalichero, says his committee is yet to come up with a final say on the matter.

“We need not to rush. This is issue has to do with laws of the game. We should not bring opinions into this matter. When everything is finalised, the determination will come out,” Kalichero told a local radio station.

But sports analyst Dr George Kaudza Masina, speaking on Times Radio, said with this unnecessary delay in resolving the issue, Malawians may lose trust in the referees’ body.

“Their delay or silence is not helping matters. We are not saying the referees who handled the derby were wrong or not. But everybody was disappointed with what happened on that day. It’s possible that we may be lacking in our understanding of the laws of the game but they should come out in the open and tell the nation their stand.

“It’s surprising that that the referees continue to officiate other matches since that incident. Their silence will make people lose confidence in the referees committee and the referees in question,” explained Masina.

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