Wanderers challenge fine, appeal:  ‘Police hired by FAM failed to do their job’

Mighty Be Forward Wanderers is appealing against  a K650 000 fine imposed on them by Football Association of Malawi (FAM)  for the fracas that happened during the Carlsberg Cup semi-final against Mangochi Police at Kamuzu Stadium a fortnight ago.

Wanderers fans cheering their team.
Wanderers fans cheering their team.

FAM has found  Wanderers guilty of bullying a Mangochi Police FC player and bringing the game of football into disrepute and subsequently fined K650,000.

The  charge was that Wanderers displayed unsporting behaviour during the match .

But Wanderers vice-chairperson Gift Mkandawire described FAM’s fine as unjust.

“We condemn violence in strongest terms. It should not be entertained at all cost. However, the verdict fails to stamp out the other contributors to the system collpse.

“We will definitely challenge the verdict. Yes, there is a lot that we need to do, but why should we be punished because the police, who were hired by FAM, failed to do their job? I was at the pre-match meeting on that day and the police were asked to make sure that no supporter should be in the tunnel or dressing rooms. Why did they fail to control the situation?

“Remember, unlike in a Super League match, this is a game organised by FAM, who are also responsible for providing security and not the clubs. It’s the police who failed to do their job. If they are failing to provide security, why do they hire them? Why didn’t they arrest the ones who are responsible? Why should the club be punished?”
In its verdict released on Tuesday found that Wanderers were found guilty of bullying the Mangochi Police FC player by pouring him pork soup, which is an unsporting behaviour contrary to  article 24.12 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations  and attracted a fine of K500,000.

Further to that Wanderers were found guilty of bringing the game of football into disrepute following the negative publicity as a result of the actions of its supporters and as per article 24.21 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations Wanderers ate fined K150,000.

Fam says all the fines must be paid before Wanderers next fixture and that they are free to appeal to Fam’s Disciplinary Committee within 48 hours of receipt of the verdict to be accompanied by a prescribed appeal fee of K450,000 in line with Articles 15.1 of the Competition’s Rules and Regulations.

The charges Wanderers faced were that during the semi-final match between Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and lower division side Mangochi Police, the Nomads supporters are alleged to have bullied a Mangochi Police player by pouring soup on him in the dressing room tunnel during half time which is contrary to article 24.12 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulation.

Wanderers are charged that they allegedly failed to take precautionary measures to control their “supporters who invaded the dressing room and tunnel despite being aware and having been advised that they were not allowed to do so. This was contrary to Article 24.1 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations.”

“The actions of Wanderers supporters resulted in the delay of the second half kickoff as well as negative publicity of the above stated match therefore bringing the game of football into disrepute. In terms of Article 24.21 of the Rules and Regulations, the Organising Committee hereby charges the club accordingly,” says the charge statement signed by Fam General Secretary Suzgo Nyirenda.

When the game resumed, Wanderers advanced to the final with a 1-0 victory through a goal scored by their experienced striker Ishamel Thindwa, who came in as a substitute.

Thindwa was decorated with man of the match accolade for his exploits.

The Nomads will play the winners between Silver Strikers, who beat and Mafco FC the following day.

Wanderers are on the quest to become only the first club to win the Carlsberg Cup back to back. They won the prestigious cup after beating Nyasa Big Bullets 2-1 in Lilongwe last season.

Fam’s Competitions Organising Committee convened on 3rd September  to review and make a decision on the charges of unsporting behaviors laid against Wanderers.

“The Committee considered a response to the charges from Mighty Be forward Wanderers Football Club as well as reports submitted by the Match Coordinator, The Police, The Stewards, The Referee, the Match Commissioner, Mangochi Police FC and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

“From the reports it clearly emerged that Mighty Be Forward Wanderers supporters invaded the tunnel and the dressing area during the interval despite being aware and having been advised that they were not allowed to do so.

“It was also noted that a handful of Mighty Be Forward Wanderers supporters rushed to the Media Stand carrying among other things urine and pork soup. Taking advantage of the fact that part of the tunnel leading to the dressing is uncovered and directly below the stand, they poured pork soup on Mangochi Police Football Club goalkeeper.

“This was done by two unidentified supporters who were clad in very clear Mighty Be Forward Wanderers colours. This incident was clearly witnessed by the stewards but was unable to apprehend the two supporters because they immediately disappeared after doing the dishonourable act.

“The Committe also observed that Mangochi Police Football Club goalkeeper was not physically assaulted as alleged by Mangochi Police Football Club. It was established that goalkeeper got injured in the field of play when he collided with a Wanderers player towards the end of first half.

“This is corroborated by a report from the hospital which clearly indicate that the player got injured while playing football. In view of the above events, the committee concluded that the actions Mighty Be Forward Wanderers Football Club supporters were barbaric and unwarranted and had brought the game of football into disrepute following the bad publicity that followed as a result of the incidents that happened.

“It was further noted that it is increasingly becoming apparent that Mighty Be Forward Wanderers Football Club is unable to control the behaviour of its supporters during matches, a development that is detrimental to football,” the report said, signed by general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda.

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