On 15th August 2016, the Football Association of Malawi Organising Committee convened to make a decision on the events that occurred at Balaka Stadium during a Carlsberg Cup quarterfinal match between Prison United football Club and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers Football Club on Saturday 13th August 2016 .
The Committee considered reports from the Match Coordinators, Police, the Match Commissioner, the Referee and a letter from Mighty Be Forward Wanderers .
From the above reports, it was clearly noted that a Preparatory Meeting was held at the venue a day before the match to discuss a range of issues in preparation for the match including security. The Police also confirmed attendance of the same accordingly. It was noted that Mighty Be Forward Wanderers was duly represented during the meeting. This is contrary to their assertion that there was no such a meeting.
Further from the reports it clearly emerged that Prison United Supporters who were sitting behind Wanderers’ technical area provoked Wanderers officials sitting in the area. In return to the provocation, Wanderers officials led by their security officer Trouble Kumsowa left the technical area, climbed the fence and confronted the Prison United supporters. He was then joined by Wanderers General Secretary Mike Butao and Vice Treasurer Chulu Mkangama. This sparked a fracas leading to a fight between the two sets of supporters, Wanderers’ and Prison United’s. This is a fact that Mighty Be Forward admitted in writing.
The Committee noted that much as the actions of Prison United supporters were unacceptable, the situation was exacerbated by the actions of the above Wanderers officials resulting into the fight. The Committee noted that the two Match Coordinators were largely available at the venue to resolve the situation but Wanderers officials resorted to use their own means of resolving the situation by going to confront the Prison United supporters. The Committee noted that following the intervention of the Match Coordinators, the situation calmed down and the match proceeded without any problems. Sadly, this was too late as the events, which could easily have been avoided, had already dented the image of football.
3.0 DETERMINATION AND SANCTIONS
The Committee established that the two teams displayed unsporting behaviors that led to the fighting between Wanderers’ officials and supporters on one hand and Prison United Supporters on the other. In respect of each team the Committee determined as follows:
3.1 Prison United
Prison United were found guilty of failing to take necessary precautions to prevent their supporters from displaying unsporting behavior and are responsible for their actions as stipulated in article 24.1 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations. Prison United should have prevented its supporters from provoking the Mighty Be Forward Wanderers officials sitting in the technical area. The reaction to these actions led to the fracas. As per article 24.21 of the Rules and regulations Prison United is fined K150,000.00 to be paid before the team’s next official match.
3.2 Mighty Be Forward Wanderers
3.2.1 Mighty Be Forward Wanderers were found guilty of failing to take necessary precautions to prevent their officials and supporters from displaying unsporting behavior and are responsible for their actions as stipulated in article 24.1 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations. Mighty Be Forward Wanderers failed to control their officials who left their designated technical areas to confront Prison United supporters in retaliation to the latter provoking them. It is this retaliation that led to the fighting between the two camps. Mighty Be Forward Wanderers should have reported the provocation to the authorities rather than taking the law into their own hands. As per article 24.21 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations Mighty Be Forward Wanderers are fined K300, 000.00 to be paid before the team’s next official match.
3.2.2 Further, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers officials are reminded of their responsibility to follow procedures by engaging authorities when handling issues of provocations or any other issue at a football match instead of taking the law into their own hands. As per article 24.21 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations a serious warning is hereby issued to Mighty Be Forward Wanderers about the future conduct of its officials.
Kindly note that all fines are payable immediately, and before the two teams, next official matches. Any aggrieved party is free to appeal within 24 hours after payment of the prescribed fee in the sum of K450, 000.00 as per the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations.
Press Release on the Balaka Fracas