Hired security at the high profile FAMA Top 8 final berth between crowd pullers Big Bullets and Malawi Defense Force (MDF) side, Red Lions, failed to read the state of affairs and stamp out authority.
And their misjudgment or lazy faire action has not only left Referee battered, but a litmus test to the organizers, the country’s Football governing body (FAM), the Refereeing national body and the Super League Association of Malawi (where the Top 8 teams were drawn from).
Soccer followers are keen to see the course of action to be taken following the un sportsmanship conduct displayed by Red Lions, an oldest MDF soccer team.
Said one Kenneth Chisale: “In all fairness third place encounter can not be played before the issue is tabled.
“I will have problems with the people who manage our soccer affairs if this issue is left to die a natural death, especially this time around when the season is around the corner.
“It is a pity that the detailed security chose to move in late. Whether it was by design or lack of an extra sense its un fortunate and both the security and the players involved ought to be taken to task.”
Surprisingly, amongst the security detail were MDF soldiers, who could have easily tamed their comrades from the un sportsmanship conduct.
Observed one soccer analyst: ““This is not a battle field. All, including the Red Lions players should have been treated as football players [and not soldiers], so any security personnel detailed had the authority to take charge of the situation.”
The Zomba based MDF soccer team was the first to find the net from spot kick taken by after Bullets defender had handled in the 18 yard box.
But the soldiers’ cerebration was short lived as Bullets cancelled the lead before going for recess, through Grant ‘Ginte’ Lungu, who had a good share of the game although he was substituted later.
Even though the soldiers tried to exert pressure, it was Big Bullets who had the last laugh in the game that was characterized by high tempers, rough play and remarks.
Fast improving youthful Gabaldino Mhango, a thorn in the Lions camp, headed in a beauty that earned Bullets a place in the promised land.
Red Lions coach Collins Nkuna attributed the loss to poor officiation.
“Suffice to say Bullets played well and scored clear goals, the referee did let us down. He did not know his job.” He told Malawi Broadcasting Corporation soon after the match, suggesting that Referees go for refresher courses before the season kicks off.
Nkuna was probably referring to Red Lions disallowed goal which caused the game to stall for nearly 10 minutes in the first half, as the MDF side protested the referee's decision.
When play resumed the beauty changed as it turned physical attracting a number of yellow cards.
And after the final whistle some Red Lions players cordoned referee Francesco Scova, taking turns to rough him up in the face of the security on duty.
As this report was being compiled all the stake holders including the MDF had not yet issued a statement on the matter.
To reach the semifinals, Bullets saw off rivals Wanderers a fortnight ago with a goal each from Henry Kabichi and Douglas Chirambo.
Bullets opponents will be known Sunday after a Lilongwe affair between Epac and Blue Eagles.
The organizers, Fellowship Association of Malawi (FAMA) are yet to disclose where the finals will be staged, but the winner will in additional to going away with the FAMA Trophy cart home K3 million while losing finalists will be consoled with a cool K 1m. Third place team will pocket