The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has handed a four-month suspension to referee Godfrey Nkhakananga for his involvement in the chaos that unfolded during the Airtel Top 8 match between Silver Strikers and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Bingu National Stadium, which ultimately led to the abandonment of the game.
In a statement made available to Nthanda Times, FAM has faulted Nkhakananga for failing to control the match effectively, allowing play to continue after blowing the whistle.
This lapse led to Silver Strikers scoring their second goal, prompting protests from Wanderers and ultimately resulting in the match’s abandonment.
“Suspend Referee Godfrey Nkhakananga for four months for failure to control the match by allowing play to continue after blowing whistle to stop play; continuing play without proper restart; allowing a goal from a dead ball and giving advantage by blowing a whistle in the Airtel Top 8 quarterfinal match between Silver Strikers and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers on 23rd September 2023,” reads part of the statement.
In his report, the FIFA referee acknowledged that he had blown the whistle for an infringement but allowed play to continue, resulting in Silver Strikers scoring their second goal. This decision triggered protests from Wanderers players, leading to the match’s abandonment.
Nkhakananga’s report stated: “In the 89th minute, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers handled the ball outside the penalty box and within the penalty arch. I blew the whistle, and immediately after that, a goal was scored, and I gave Silver an advantage.”
The Committee has also slapped Referee Deus Nyirongo with a three-month suspension for decisions made during a TNM Super League match between Karonga United and Chitipa United on April 22, 2023.
During the same encounter, Match Assessor Zuza Nyondo has received a four-month suspension for submitting an unsatisfactory match report.
In yet another incident, referee Dave Chombo has been suspended due to controversy surrounding a league match between Silver Strikers and Chitipa United that took place on August 1, 2023.
Furthermore, referee Peter Jossam has been suspended for three months by FAM for failing to effectively control the game and enforce the laws of the game during the match between Silver Strikers and Blue Eagle in the main league on August 6, 2023.