In a dramatic turn of events, Mzuni FC boycotted their TNM Super League match against current leaders Be Forward Wanderers which was scheduled to be played at Balaka Stadium after some of their officials were manhandled by Nomads supporters as they entered the stadium.
According to Mzuni FC General Secretary Khumbo Kumwenda, his side decided to boycott the game because their players and officials were beaten by the home fans.
“Note that Mzuni FC has decided to boycott today’s game vs Wanderers because players and officials have been beaten whilst entering the gate at Balaka Stadium. Our team is now returning to Mzuzu. Sulom can decide on how to handle this,” he said.
And commenting on the issue, Mzuni FC Chairman Albert Mtungambera said the decision to boycott the game was also influenced by lack of security at the facility.
“The game between Be Forward Wanderers and Mzuni FC has been called off because of lack of security and violence. Nomads, who were supposed to provide security to the visiting team manhandled coaching panel and leader of delegation Mrs. Agnes Mzumara who is currently receiving treatment at Balaka Hospital,” he explained.
However, Wanderers General Secretary refuted Mzuni’s claim saying the team did not even show up at the stadium.
“I have been inside the stadium all along but I never saw Mzuni at the stadium. They never came through the gates and even the referees didn’t check their cards because there was nobody from Mzuni. Somebody wants cheap points here. This is crazy. As far as we know, Mzuni didn’t come to the match. If something happened why at least one of their officials didn’t lodge a complaint? wondered Butao.
On Mzuni FC’s claim that Wanderers were supposed to provide security for the visitors, Butao said:
“Home team doesn’t provide security. Security issues are discussed and agreed by all parties at the preparatory match meeting. In fact it’s Sulom who decides on security and that was the reason why we were turned down to have the Blantyre derby played at Balaka Stadium last week,” he said.
Efforts to hear from Sulom proved futile as treasurer Tiya Somba Banda was still with Mzuni FC officials before officially ordering referees to call off the match.
It is still not known as to whether Wanderers will be awarded three points or not as they were on the pitch when the referee was calling off the match.
Article 19 of Sulom’s rules and regulations states that a match may be replayed if it could not take place or could not be played in full for reasons other than force majeure, but due to the behavior of a team for which an association or a club is liable.