Volleyball Association of Malawi hands K0.5M fine on Lilongwe Spikers 

Volleyball Association of Malawi (VAM) has punished Lilongwe Spikers men’s volleyball team with a fine of K100,000 without suspension and that should they fail to honour the fine within 20 days, the team’s suspension from playing games will not be uplifted.

Nkhoma, VAM general secretary
Musatero: Mipuniro team manager
Volleyball action

Central Region Volleyball League (CRVL) suspended Lilongwe Spikers as well as Mipuniro and their respective Executive Committee members from all volleyball activities for a period of six months, effective 1 May, 2019 following their continued boycott of their scheduled match fixtures involving Kamuzu Barracks.

A communication from VAM to Lilongwe Spikers its Executive Committee instituted an appeals committee on 8 June, 2019 that heard the team’s side of the story for the events that happened at an abandonment of games on 1 July last year after Kamuzu Barracks were involved in violence.

“Following the preceding incidents and findings from the reports, Lilongwe Spikers wanted Kamuzu Barracks to apologise to the teams despite Kamuzu Barracks being punished from not taking part in one national tournament and the ban of three of their players for a year,” said the statement from  VAM signed by general secretary Jairo’s Nkhoma.

“After the review from Lilongwe Spikers based on the appeal on right to be heard, the team admitted having abandoned some games against Kamuzu Barracks. In view of the above, the Executive Committee observed that the approach of refusing to play matches taken by Lilongwe Spikers is against the rules and regulations of VAM and its region affiliates.

“In accordance with the provisions of VAM constitution of Part X-1 of Miscellaneous Provisions, subsection 7 on Definition of Misconduct for violating the laws of the game on rules and regulations of VAM and violating the rules on regulations of any league, club or combination affiliated to VAM or sanctioned by its Executive Committee.

“The ruling serves to ensure that rules and regulations of the game are followed at all times and it is within the jurisdiction of the sport policy to promote integrity of volleyball sport.”

Meanwhile, Mipuniro Spikers are preparing to travel to Zimbabwe to honour the invitation they have received from Harare City volleyball team to play an international club friendly matches to be played in Harare on August 11-12.

Mipuniro’s team manager Musatero Nkhozi, said Mipuniro, who are one of Malawi’s top volleyball clubs, are looking for financial support to travel to Harare.

In May, the team was in Zambia for an 12-team tournament that they had been invited to participate by Zambia Volleyball Association (ZAVA) that was held in Lusaka in which they came 8th.

Mipuniro Spikers were the only foreign team at the tournament and in their first game against Nkwazi, Mipuniro lost 0-3 (18-25; 17-25; 24-26) but won their second match 3-1 against Nakonde (25-19; 25-20; 23-25; 25-22) to reach the quarterfinals.

But they went on to lose 0-3 (16-25; 22-25; 11-25) in the quarterfinal against the the tournament’s defending champions, Indeni, who came second.

The 12-man Mipuniro squad comprised team manager Nkhonzi as team manager, Simbani Banda as head coach, Trust Mtegha as player/assistant coach and setters — Chawanangwa Mughogho, Nhlanhla Kwenda; spikers — Wills Tablet Damaseke, Christopher Guns Kauta, Steve 99 Banda, Horace Kwengwere, Ananias Mfune and liberos — Ibrahim Ibra Iron and Joseph Chiona.

Mipuniro, who were on suspension by CRVL then, together with Lilongwe Spikers, had their punishment softened and were allowed to travel to Lusaka for ZAVA Open and also to play strength-testing matches following an appeal.

CRVL took into consideration the promotion of the sport and promoting sportsmanship, and the fact that the suspension given to Mipuniro was not in any way done out of ill intentions but enforcement of the CRVL regulations.

Spikers get such recognition to be invited for the ZAVA Open after a team from Chipata, the Taliban Forces visited Malawi with their basketball colleagues to play Bravehearts at African Bible College (ABC) and when they travelled back they spread their good volleyball skills throughout Zambia that eventually caught the attention of ZAVA to invite them for this yearly event.

It was the first time for Mipuniro to play volleyball outside the borders of Malawi.

On the local scene, Mipuniro are arguably, one of the best team as underlined by league and tournament rankings in the past three years as well as a number of individual awards won by its players in various tournaments.

The team was initially formed by ex-college students as a pastime initiative, to beat boredom of inactiveness soon after leaving corridors of the colleges. Afterwards, the players got inspired to look beyond just social games by registering for the Central Region Volleyball League (CRVL) in 2015.

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