DECISION OF THE FAM ORGANISING COMMITTEE ON THE EVENTS AT CHITOWE STADIUM INVOLVING MAFCO AND NYASA BIG BULLETS ON 12th AUGUST 2016
On 15th August 2016, the Football Association of Malawi Organising Committee convened to review and make a decision on the events that occurred at Chitowe Stadium on Friday 12th August 2016 on the eve of a Carlsberg Cup quarterfinal match between MAFCO Football Club (MAFCO FC) and Nyasa Big Bullets. The incidents forced the Organising Committee to call off the match for security concerns.
The Committee considered reports submitted by the Match Coordinator, MAFCO FC and Nyasa Big Bullets. From the reports it clearly emerged that there was a fracas that started as a result of MAFCO FC invading the pitch and disturbing Nyasa Big Bullets training session. This was clearly admitted in the report submitted by MAFCO FC Secretary General, and was corroborated by the Match Coordinator’s Report. It was noted during the meeting that this invasion followed spoken instructions from MAFCO FC Team Manager David Gulaimfa.
The meeting further observed that following the invasion of the training session, Nyasa Big Bullets quickly assembled at the centre circle and left the field of play as a group. However, in a bid to collect a ball from a MAFCO FC football player Paul Ndhlovu, Bullets goalkeeper was slapped by the said Paul Ndhlovu. The Bullets goalkeeper retaliated and the MAFCO FC player was joined by his colleagues in beating the Bullets goalkeeper.
This forced the other Bullets players notably Fischer Kondowe and Aimable Niyikiza to proceed and try to rescue their colleague. However MAFCO FC players, notably Paul Ndhlovu, Stain Malata and Richard Mbulu rained blows on the three Bullets players. It was further concluded that Richard Mbulu rushed to MAFCO FC vehicle and brought out an iron bar that he used to hit one of the Bullets players.
It is very clear that the situation could have been avoided if, MAFCO FC conducted themselves in line with the Rules and Regulations, and respected the direction given by the Match Coordinator. On Bullets’ side, Chimwemwe Kumkwawa could have prevented the fighting if he was not drawn to retaliate after being slapped by Paul Ndhlovu. A further incursion of Bullets players into the pitch in a bid to rescue their colleague made matters worse. Clearly, in respect of MAFCO FC, it failed to control the actions of its official, the Team Manager, and also the players. As for Bullets, it failed to control the following actions of its players.
3.0 Verdict and Sanctions
Out of the events summarized above, the Committee made the following findings and determinations:
(a) MAFCO were found guilty of failing to take necessary precautions to prevent their players and official from displaying unsporting behavior and are responsible for the actions of their players as stipulated in article 24.1 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations. In that regard, MAFCO failed to control its players from going into pitch to train when Nyasa Big Bullets were training as the move led to the disorderly. MAFCO failed to control its official from ordering the players to disrupt Nyasa Big Bullets training. As per article 24.21 MAFCO FC are fined K300, 000.00.
(b) Nyasa Big Bullets FC were found guilty of failing to take necessary precautions to prevent their players from displaying unsporting behavior and are responsible for the actions of their players as stipulated in article 24.1 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations. Nyasa Big Bullets failed to control their player Chimwemwe Kumkwawa from engaging in physical confrontation with MAFCO players. As per article 24.21 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations Nyasa Big Bullets are fined K150, 000.00.
(c) MAFCO were found guilty of assaulting Nyasa Big Bullets players and as per article 24.12 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations. Accordingly, the team is fined K500, 000.00.
(d) MAFCO FC was found guilty of disrupting Nyasa Big Bullets FC training session and as per article 24.20 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations. Accordingly, MAFCO FC is fined K450,000.00.
(e) MAFCO FC were found guilty of bringing the game of football into disrepute by defying FAM orders and proceeded to sleep inside Chitowe Stadium. As per article 24.21 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations MAFCO FC are banned from hosting any cup games organized by FAM at Chitowe Stadium until further notice.
(f) MAFCO FC Team Manager David Gulaimfa was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute by inciting the disorderly conduct of players i.e. ordering MAFCO FC players to invade the pitch to disrupt Nyasa Big Bullets training session. It was noted that without his order MAFCO FC players would not have disrupted Nyasa Big Bullets training and therefore there would not have been the sad events that occurred on the day. As per article 24.21 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations David Gulaimfa is hereby banned from all football activities organized by FAM and its affiliates for three (3) years.
(g) Four MAFCO FC players were found guilty of taking leading role in assaulting of Nyasa Big Bullets and as per article 24.12, and on the strength of their contribution the following will be punished as follows:
(i) Richard Mbulu is banned from all football activities organized by FAM and/or any of its affiliates for the rest of the season;
(ii) Paul Ndhlovu is banned for six matches organized by FAM and/or any of its affiliates;
(iii) Stain Malata is banned for six matches organized by FAM and/or any of its affiliates; and
(iv) Jailos Kapalamula is seriously warned against indulging in similar offence in future.
(h) Nyasa Big Bullets player Chimwemwe Kumkwawa was found guilty of contributing to the disorder by physically retaliating against MAFCO FC player, Paul Ndhlovu. As per article 24.12 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations he is banned for three matches.
(i) Nyasa Big Bullets FC Bullets were found guilty of undermining authorities by walking out of the preparatory meeting and writing a letter advising of their unilateral boycotting of the match. As per article 24.12 of the Carlsberg Cup Rules and Regulations they are seriously warned against such behavior accordingly.
4.0 Way Forward on the Called off Match
The Committee has resolved to reschedule the quarterfinal match between MAFCO FC and Nyasa Big Bullets as follows:
Day and Date : Saturday 21st August 2016
Venue : Civo Stadium from 14:30 Hours.
Time : 14:30 hours.
FAM will ensure that there is tight security at the match. The teams concerned are reminded about fulfillment of their responsibilities as per the Rules and Regulations of the competition. Full programme of all activities related to the match will be communicated later.
Kindly note that all the fines must be paid before the next fixture, and the bans commence with immediate effect. Any aggrieved party is free to appeal to FAM’s Disciplinary Committee within 24 hours of receipt of this notification. Such appeal must be accompanied by the prescribed appeal fee in the sum of K450, 000.00 in line with Articles 15.1 of the Competition’s Rules and Regulations.