By Jeden Chilikunzako, Nyasa Times
Violence at soccer matches resurfaced at the Kamuzu stadium on Sunday afternoon to dent the image of the beautiful game as disgruntled Mighty Wanderers supporters started hurled stoned in the pitch after the referee in their game against Red Lions showed a red card to striker Antony Banda for an off the ball incident.
The Nomads who struggled throughout the match were trailing the Soldier 1 – 0 in the 88th minute when Banda hit a Red Lions defender after the ball had passed.
The referee gave the Nomads player marching order but this did not go down well with the supporters who were already angry with proceedings on the ground. They started throwing stones onto the pitch forcing the game to be stopped for some five minutes.
The stoning continued to all the stands and police were forced to throw teargas canisters to try and bring order to the rowdy fans but the situation worsened.
The game was officially called off as the ground looked unplayable.
Outside the stadium, the angry fans smashed cars, breaking windscreens and windows and blocking the Kamuzu highway and burning tyres.
The violence extended to Shoprite shopping mall where cars were also smashed and everyone putting on red and looking like a Bullets supporter was beaten. Traffic lights at the Polytechnic have been damaged by the supporters.
The supporters involved themselves in a fierce battle with the police and the situation worsened.
The Super League of Malawi – SULOM – general secretary Williams Banda said they will act accordingly and the perpetrators will be punished.
“As Sulom, we do not condone violence and will be meeting shortly to see the next course of action to those found in the wrong,” he said.
But as it is, it was a game that was definitely won by the Zomba-based Soldiers since it went beyond 70 minutes.
Red Lions displayed classic football and outplayed the Nomads in every department. Led by Bernard Kaisi and Kelvin Katema, they looked poised to grab maximum points to extend their unbeaten run to 8 games with 15 points.
Matthews Simbeye scored the only goal of the game.
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