LILONGWE--Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has meted out a stiff punishment on Moyale Barracks FC and four of its players following the violence that erupted at Mzuzu Stadium on September 8, 2012 during a TNM Super League match involving Moyale and Big Bullets FC.
During the match, which ended 1-0 in favour of Bullets Moyale Barracks players and fans assaulted referee Mabvuto Godoya as well as his assistants Victor Nkhata and Williams Chidyaonga.
Following the incident, Sulom convened a disciplinary hearing in on Monday (September 10, 2012) and Tuesday (September 11, 2012) which found Moyale guilty of misconduct and breaching Sulom rules and regulations.
Charges leveled against the club included: Failure to provide adequate security at the Stadium as evidenced by the violent scenes and assaults on the officiating personnel at half time and after the game (Article 13.1.1 of SULOM) and Disturbance of normal proceedings of the game by the club’s players and fans, leading to the assault on the officiating personnel and prevention of the match officials from entering the dressing room for a refresher (Article 13.1.2 of SULOM).
Other charges were bringing SULOM and its sponsor TNM into disrepute (Article 13.1.6 of SULOM), breaching peace of the general public and failure by the club to control the action of its supporters and fans.
In view of the charges, the league has fined the club a total of K300,000 to paid before the next fixture against Red Lions on Sunday and ordered the side to play its next four home matches away from home.
The hearing also found four Moyale players- Anthony Manda, Timothy Nyirenda, Victor Phiri and Lovemore Mitengo in breach of conduct, the rules and regulations of SULOM as well as the FIFA disciplinary code of ethics.
Manda is accused of assaulting Bullets’ player Douglas Chirambo in retaliation to a foul while Nyirenda, Phiri and Mitengo are being accused of beating the referee and inciting other people to rough up the officiating personnel.
For assaulting the opponent, Manda has been slapped with a five-match ban with his three colleagues banned from playing or sitting on the bench in any game administered by Sulom for six months. On top of the ban, Nyirenda has been fined K70,000 while Phiri and Mitengo will have to pay fines of K50,000 each.
Referee Godoya, who has also been found guilty of failing to control the game and repeatedly contradicting his assistants has also not been spared. He has been banned from officiating any Super League match for three months.
The aggrieved parties, according to the verdict from Sulom are free to appeal against the ruling in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the league within 48 hours.
Moyale Barracks, who were reportedly represented by their legal advisor and general secretary during the hearing have since accepted the charges.
According to the verdict signed by Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda, who chaired the meeting, the two club officials were remorseful and apologetic and said in their mitigation that they would institute a commission of Inquiry and punish the violence perpetuators.
Apparently, the league has asked the club to furnish it with the findings of its inquiry before November 30, failing which the club will have to play a further four home matches away from home.