Walter calls fan’s death a murder as Malawi FA seek justice: Pictorial

There were emotional tributes at College of Medicine in Blantyre on Friday when the body of late soccer fan Geoffrey Mwale who died in the wee hours of the day, was being taken to his home village Chiwengo in the area of Traditional Authority Chilowamatambe in Kasungu where he will be buried on Sunday.

Fam President Nyamilandu in his eulogy....Photo Jeromy Kadewere.
Fam President Nyamilandu in his eulogy….Photo Jeromy Kadewere.
An uncle to the deceased making his speech...Photo Jeromy Kadewere
An uncle to the deceased  speaking…Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Mother to the deceased in tears...Photo Jeromy KadewereMother to the deceased in tears...Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Mother to the deceased in tears…Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Sad moments....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Sad moments….Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu consoling Godfrey's father...Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu consoling Godfrey’s father…Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Sombre faces.....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Sombre faces…..Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Grief for football officials Sulom Treasurer Tiya Somba Banda ( centre) Nyamilandu (left) Suzgho Ngwira and Daud Suleman ... d faces....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Grief for football officials Sulom Treasurer Tiya Somba Banda ( centre) Nyamilandu (left) Suzgho Ngwira and Daud Suleman … d faces….Photo Jeromy Kadewere
The casket carrying Godfrey Mwale  before its departure....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
The casket carrying Godfrey Mwale before its departure….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Mwale, who has been lying unconscious at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre since May 10, succumbed to serious head injuries he sustained during the incident that occurred after a league match between  Malawi Defense Force side Red Lions and Surestream at Kamuzu Stadium.

Among those who paid their last homage in sombre faces included, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, George Jana from Sports Council, James Chuma, Malawi national team players, Sulom officials like Tiya Somba Banda, Daudi Suleman and senior police officers.

There was wailing when the family, led by Geoffrey’s mother and father viewed the body.

In his eulogy, FAM President Walter Nyamilandu asked for justice to prevail, saying in a strong tone that no one is above the law and described Geoffrey’s death as murder.

“We are ashamed, embarrassed because of a few misguided fans who have put the image of our football at stake,” said Nyamilandu, conspicuously shocked.

“ I am appealing to senior security officers and government to help us on this matter because a young man has lost his life in a brutal way,” said FAM president.

Nyamilandu also said it is high time people regard football as entertainment not a “war zone”.

“Geoffrey went to the stadium to watch football but it is unfortunate that today we are escorting him to his final resting place because of a few people, who ganged up on him,” said Nyamilandu.

He also urged  the general public to desist from violence during football match emphasizing the nation cannot afford to be losing people in such a way.

“We at FAM value life and a loss of loved one brings unbearable pain. We stand tall and united in grief with the Mwale family. We share in their pain and sorrow, “Nyamilandu said.

“As FAM, we will be doing football and the soul of Godfrey Mwale no favours if we do not condemn in strongest terms the acts of barbarism, violence and hooliganism still existing in our game though, sporadically. Any form of violence or hooliganism threaten the very core foundations on whose the spirit of the game was built on thus; entertainment, warmth, togetherness and fair-play. Based on the pillars above, the loss of life at football matches in unnecessary,` he said.

Mwale has become a second soccer fan to lose life to violence at a domestic football match within a space of just over a year. Lemiyasi Josita died in similar circumstances during a game between Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers at Balaka Stadium in December 2013.

An uncle to the deceased Joseph Mwale, who came all the way from Kasungu shed tears before paying his tribute.

Mpira ku Malawi wasanduka imfa lero [Football has turned into fertile ground for death in Malawi]. As family members our plea to Fam and government is that we want justice to prevail because Geoffrey has died a young man). He was not a violent boy yet some people had the guts to beat him up before he breathed his last,” he said, amid tears from a section of women, who thronged College of Medicine mortuary.

Stanley Mwale, father of late Geoffrey has already indicated that after the burial of his son he will lodge a wrongful death charges against MDF.

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda, who acts as the body’s spokesperson, said the continued deaths due to football violence are painting a bad picture about Malawi soccer.

Sulom vice-president Daud Suleman said the body saddened by the death of Mwale and called for concerted efforts to fight violence and hooliganism.

“This is the time that we should all come together, bang heads and find the way to deal with this problem from the grassroots,” he said. “We are creating tears and fear and that is not what football is all about”, lamented Suleman.

Youth Development and Sports Minister Grace Chiumia has described the loss of a second life to violence as a big shame for Malawi football.

Chiumia wants more to be done to tackle the problem.

“The fine handed to Red Lions is too little to stop football hooliganism and as government we want to see justice take place. Elsewhere if a team behaves the way Red Lions did then it is banned,” she said.

The violence

Mwale suffered acute hematoma as a result of head trauma and swelling of the brain, according to Dr Patrick Kamalo.

Trouble flared after Red Lions players assaulted referee Borniface Chipinga following the final whistle, angry with him for a penalty he awarded to Surestream in the dying minutes. The game ended 2-2.

Surestream fans responded by smashing Red Lions’ team bus and soldiers were called to the scene from a nearby army base.

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) fined Red Lions US$8,280 and suspended eight of their players and a team doctor involved in the assault of referee for six and 12 months respectively.

However no criminal case was opened for the assault of Mwale and now following his death the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has in a statement called for an investigation.

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6 years ago

You kill one solder they kill 100 policemen and their relations right: How many police men are they killing in the guise of armed roberries, caused car accidents, foot fan and many more to come

6 years ago

Ninkuuzeni 52: iwe ndiwe munthu wa moyo. Tsoka kwa iwe ndithu. Even if you dont like a person you cant say those words. Ngati uli ndi mzimu pliz withdraw that statement you have just posted. Ngati suulapa iwe waku gehena ndithu. Shame on you.

steve fredrick
6 years ago

so sad

Kulibe kantu
Kulibe kantu
6 years ago

Let us go the South African way. Revenge. That is one thing I like about South Africans. If you do something wrong to them, they will not leave you

Kulibe kantu
Kulibe kantu
6 years ago

We do not have a president in Malawi. The commander in chief is quiet. Yet his junior did this. Where are you Mr President?

Kulibe kantu
Kulibe kantu
6 years ago

Dammy, your comments are baseless. There is not justification for any team to beat up match officials or soccer fans because of poor offciation. if the referees are poor then they should be punished.

You also seem to be a very young person. These army teams started violence a long time ago. It is not new. These teams must just be banned. SULOM should do it NOW and NOW.

Kulibe kantu
Kulibe kantu
6 years ago

Nyamilandu, what you have done is what we leadership. There is not word from government. What a shame!

6 years ago

Murderers are you going to get a medals for that brutal killing of a football fan? May that will be your first medals you cowards. Calling yourself soldiers? Soldiers do not kill unarmed football fan. I said it before and i say it again if you war hungry go fight isis or taliban.

6 years ago

Red Lions and all army teams should be banished from all forms of football related activities. Most teams complain that when they are playing army teams they are always intimidated.Why cant we deal with this issue once and for all. Bad officiation cannot be the excuse for violence in this modern era. Play fair even when match officials are against you.Thats the way it is happening all over the world.Why cant you take a bad decision by a match official on the chin/ its part of the game for wrong decision to be made by the match officials, We have… Read more »

6 years ago

Let me agree with Mbewe that Honorable minister of sports,Walter nyamilandu,Bottomani,punishing team with millions of kwachas which can nt even buy back the lost soul is not a solution.Just take a look at this,last year we lost Josita ,fines to teams were given include pasavute.This year SULOM sat down and revised up the punishments to team,look here we lose another citizen.Which means SULOM is njust dealing with effects not the real problem itself.If FAM and SULOM is reading this comment know that the results of the game are always evidence as the game progresses.You send officials to football games without… Read more »

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