APPEAL AGAINST THE DECISION OF THE SULOM DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE ON THE BE FORWARD WANDERERS FOOTBAL CLUB VERSUS MZUNI FOOTBALL CLUB ABANDONED GAME ON 4TH NOVEMBER 2017.
Wanderers Football Club (Wanderers) is appealing against the Mzuni Football Club (Mzuni) game verdict on the following grounds:
- We believe Wanderers was judged before the enquiry took place and the decision to postpone the game was made before the hearing took place and this compromised the enquiry. The General Secretary of SULOM apologized to the sponsors for “the violence” in the Daily Times newspaper and when queried in The Nation newspaper said he had to apologize because it is not good when games are “postponed”. All this was before the enquiry took place. And we lodged official complaints with SULOM on both occasions.
- We protest against the composition of the Enquiry team. Mr Trouble Kalua is a well-known Bullets person. Mr Chrispin Sibande is a Silver Strikers person. Both these teams are our direct competitors for the League title this season being on positions two and three. And curiously issues involving teams to which these two are affiliated have not been addressed at all this season.
- The enquiry that took place should NOT have come up with a verdict. It was just an enquiry to establish what had happened as even the Enquiry chairperson Mr Sado said in his opening remarks. The next course of action should have been to charge the culprits and summon them for a hearing.
- Regarding the verdict itself we note the following
a) The fact that there were “supporters” at the entrance is not strange. The entrance is also the VIP gate and is used for selling of tickets and entrance to the VIP stand and is always full of fans, not supporters as insinuated.
b) Mzuni never reported inside the stadium. Mzuni never even communicated to SULOM that they were leaving the stadium due to lack of security nor did they request additional security. They simply left, totally disregarding the rules and it was now SULOM hunting for Mzuni to get an explanation. Simply put they did not report for the match and should lose the match.
c) The referee blew the whistle to conclude the match. What should have happened is what happens when one team fails to report for the match and the referee blows to conclude the match. Points are given to the team that is present. Wanderers should have been awarded the match. The enquiry should have taken place, if at all, after that the match was awarded and after Mzuni protested.
d) Where is the evidence of assault apart from Mzuni submissions? Almost everybody says they did not witness any assault, not even the police. Even the media have been calling it “alleged violence”. Most of the submissions are based on hearsay, what the stakeholders heard, not what they saw. Football is a crowd game. How can there be assault on a team at the stadium and no stakeholder sees it? Why has the panel taken every word in the Mzuni submission as gospel truth? From their own submission, Mzuni did not even go to the hospital from the stadium. They went to their lodge. It was Mr Khonje of SULOM who followed them to the lodge and decided for Mzuni that they should go to the hospital.
Recently one team was involved in actual violence that everybody saw and was given a fully suspended sentence (fine). This time a team is “allegedly involved in violence” and is given a partially suspended sentence. Even though one was a FAM-administered game and the other is a SULOM-administered game the basic rules governing Malawi football are the same. Why is the justice in the selective?
We believe we deserve 3 points from this game and we should not be punished for allegations. Mzuni should have asked for extra security and played the game under protest if indeed their claims of violence or intimidation are true. We should not set a precedent that will be hard to verify or control later
SIGNED FOR AND ON BEHALF OF BE FORWARD WANDERERS
Mike A Butao