Nchalo United verdict on 3 Feb says FAM

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said the verdict involving Nchalo United officials over the alleged match-fixing scandal will be determined this weekend in Blantyre.

The case came to light when four Mzuzu-based referees were found guilty of allegedly pocketing a K15, 000 bribe to manipulate the result of the Carlsberg Cup round of 16 match between Chitipa United and Nchalo United which took place at Mzuzu Stadium on 13 July 2017.

The four referees, namely Limbani Chisambi, Aziz Nyirenda, Stefano Gomani and Jimmy Phiri, were found guilty and eventually handed a life ban by the National Referees Association (NRA).

FAM has come under pressure from several quarters, including the NRA, over its delay to act on the newly-promoted Super League side’s Nchalo United involvement in the scandal.

NRA General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, is on record to have told the media that FAM is setting a bad precedent by not acting on the matter, six months after the incident.

FAM General Secretary Alfred Gunda said the association could not be drawn to make a conclusion due to other circumstances surrounding the case.

“The case is not as easy as some may look at it. It involves several parties. The NRA already made a ruling on the referees with a life ban. At the same time, we also want the banned referees to come as witnesses to the case during our hearing.

“It has taken us time to resolve the matter because we have also been consulting the legal team on the way forward. We strongly believe that rules of natural justice should prevail in this case for the betterment of the game,” he told YFM online in an interview.

Gunda said the case has dragged because the legal team was pre-occupied with other duties; hence the delay to come up with a determination on the matter. He then expressed the hope that the case will be concluded by 3 February 2018.

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