The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has finally delivered its verdict on the controversial Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinal first-leg match between Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Silver Strikers, declaring a loss for Wanderers and imposing hefty sanctions.
First quarter final of the Airtel Top 8 cup season 6 was abandoned after Wanderers protested Silver’s second goal in the dying minutes of the game alleging that the referee had blown a whistle for a free kick, and later awarded Silver the goal.
In an official statement released today by FAM’s Competitions Committee and signed by the association’s General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, FAM has ruled that Mighty Mukuru Wanderers lost their Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinal first-leg match against Silver Strikers.
“Award the match to Silver Strikers FC, who win by a margin of two goals to Zero (2-0) after finding Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC guilty of causing the abandonment of the match following their players’ refusal to continue with play in protest of the referee’s decision contrary to article 10.3 of the 2023 Airtel Top 8 Rules and Regulations,” reads part of the verdict.
FAM, through the verdict, has also demanded Wanderers to cover the costs of repairing the Bingu National Stadium, and a fine for their role in causing the abandonment of the match in the 89th minute. The abandonment occurred as Wanderers protested Silver Strikers’ second goal, which was scored by substitute Stain Davie, estimated at a substantial K22 million.
“Impose upon Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC a financial sanction of Five Hundred Thousand Kwacha (K500,000.00) for being found guilty of failure take the necessary precautions to prevent their supporters from displaying unsporting behaviours by throwing objects into the field of play and damaging stadium seats. The Committee has also ordered Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Football Club to pay for the costs associated with the repair and restoration of any damaged facilities at Bingu National Stadium which stands at K22,083,400.00 (Twenty-Two million and Eighty- Three Thousand Six Hundred Kwacha) as per the preliminary assessment by BNS Authorities,” reads the verdict.
FAM has also referred Referee Godfrey Nkhakananga’s actions during the match to the National Referees Association for further action.
“The referee, may have made an error in the interpretation of the Laws of the Game by giving an advantage to Silver Strikers after he had blown the whistle for an infringement,” adds the verdict.
The FAM’s Competitions Committee has also declared Mighty Mukuru Wanderers’ protest inadmissible. According to Article 13.5 of the Airtel Top 8 Rules and Regulations, decisions made by the Match Referee during any match concerning the interpretation of the Laws of the Game are not subject to protest.
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers officials were not available for their reaction.