Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has expressed his disappointment with wrangles that threw the K3 million Simama Northern Region Football League Association (NRFA) league into turmoil.
Nyamilandu said this when he presided over the league’s prize presentation ceremony for last season held in Mzuzu last Friday.
He apologised to the sponsor of the league, Bishop Simama, who was represented at the event by his son, Pezani.
“Let me apologise to the sponsor, Bishop Simama for the mess that crippled the league. I am 100 percent sure that this disorder will not happen again. Note that if you destroy this sponsorship it will be difficult to secure another one.
“Mzuni deserved the championship because they fought on the ground. Having said this, I declare the issue closed, I don’t want madness again,” said Nyamilandu, his voice straining with emotion.
The league was embroiled in controversy after NRFA rescheduled a game between Kaporo Stars and Mzuni FC which sparked a storm of protest from Kaporo, who claimed that they were being used to advance the association’s desire to help Mzuni win the league.
Kaporo won the initial match 1-0, but the NRFA ordered a replay on the basis that the match did not mature as it was played under the required 90 minutes. Kaporo boycotted the rescheduled match, a decision that led to NRFA awarding it to Mzuni. The development led to Mzuni pipping Chilumba Barracks to the league title by a point.
Nyamilandu said the squabbles that engulfed the K3 million league were due to ignorance among football officials on the rules governing football in the country.
He said there is urgent need to roll-off training programmes that will enlighten team officials in the region on football modalities.
“Football is entertainment where people should enjoy, interact while upholding unity. I am surprised that this is not the case in the north. My stand is that there is knowledge gap among our officials on the general procedures abiding football matters in the country,” said Nyamilandu.
He then instructed NRFA to organise workshops so that team officials should be enlightened on measures associated with football administration before the league kicks off slated. The league is scheduled to kick off on May 17.
“The picture that is out there is that football in the north is rivalry. We need to change this image.
“I therefore instruct the committee running the league to organise workshops that should equip football team official on the rules of the game as soon as possible probably before the new seaon kicks off,” said Nyamilandu.
For winning the league, Mzuni got a trophy, K900 000 and a certificate of recognition while the runners up, Chilumba Barracks received K450 000.