Refs declare Karonga Stadium no go zone
Referees in the northern region have agreed to immediately stop officiating TNM Super League matches at Karonga Stadium saying there is a high degree of insecurity for the men and women in black in Karonga.
People of Karonga, who happen to be Karonga United supporters, are known for their failure to tame their anger and several teams that have visited the district for super league matches have always complained of the nasty and unsporting behaviour by Karonga United supporters.
The referees’ decision comes following the incident that took place on Sunday 20th June, 2021 in a match between Karonga United and Silver Strikers played at Karonga Stadium.
In a letter addressed to the Super League of Malawi (SULOM) seen by Nyasa Times and signed by Chairperson Misheck Juba and General Secretary Clemence Kanduku, the Northern Region Referees Committee indicates that designated match officials for the game involving Karonga United and Silver Strikers namely Mercy Kayira, Samuel Fudzulani, Harrison Simbeye and Stammy Msukwa were beaten.
“Following this… and previous incidents not mentioned in this communication, the Northern Region Referees Committee had a meeting with referees where a resolution was made that there is no security (safety) of match officials in most of the games the latest being mentioned herein,” reads the letter in part.
“We are hereby informing you that with immediate effect, no referee will officiate a TNM Super League match at Karonga Stadium from the Northern Region Referees Committee until your office addresses issues to do with safety of referees. If the situation continues the way it is now, we are going to lose one of our members due to insecurity,” reads the final part of the letter.
Mercy Kayira was seen weeping in the field of play during the match between Karonga United and Silver Strikers. Karonga United supporters started pelting missiles onto the field of play when she changed a penalty decision twice. Police had to fire tear gas and there was commotion as people ran for their lives.
A Mzuzu based analyst who did not want to be named has agreed with the referees’ decision adding that Karonga United supporters have for some time been known for hooliganism and they seem not to change.
“Personally, I am also fed up with Karonga United supporters. They think they can always be on top of things but they expose their stupidity and ignorance. Every team that goes to Karonga complains of their primitive behaviour.
“The referees have done well in their decision. Their safety is indeed paramount at this point in time. Perhaps it’s time for SULOM to stop scheduling super league matches at Karonga Stadium. We are tired of always hearing of nasty incidents by the people of Karonga,” he charged.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has shifted a round of 32 FDH Cup match between Karonga United and Mighty Wanderers from Karonga Stadium to Mzuzu Stadium this Saturday, partly because of the same security issues.
Karonga United management wrote FAM saying they would not fulfil the fixture at Mzuzu Stadium this Saturday as they were not satisfied with the reasons cited for the change of the venue. FAM has however written Karonga United back, reminding them of the consequences for abandoning the fixture which include heavy fines and a ban as well.
SULOM is yet to respond to the northern region referees.
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The issue of indiscipline in general (fans, players and officials) is a clear sign of weak leadership at Sulom, FAM. Why should refs and players be beaten up and yet no punishments or corrective measures are made? Why should refs be subjected to unpalatable language each time a team loses a match? Where are the people in positions at Sulom and FAM? Stop sleeping on the job. If you cannot manage soccer admin, please resign. You are failing the beautiful game in Mw
Bribed referees. Malawi sports won’t improve.