The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Epac FC have said there was an element of incompetence on the part of the referee Roy Williams in the way he handled the Super League game between Njenjete (Epac) and Big Bullets at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday..
Epac ended Bullets’ honeymoon in the Super League with a 1-0 win through a penalty which was converted by Jafallie Chande.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda also said there was an element of incompetence on the part of the referee.
“Looking at the circumstances, the referee was somehow incompetent and we wonder why he is still being assigned big games because this was the third match this season that complaints about his officiation have been raised.
“There were also complaints in the match between Civo and Airborne and also another game involving Blue Eagles and another team, he wasn’t biased, but incompetent. However, issues involving referees are referred to the referees subcommittee for review and, if necessary, appropriate action is taken,” said Banda.
National Football Referees Committee (NFRC) general secretary Chris Kalichelo said while Williams is one of the reliable referees, “he is only human and is bound to make mistakes and if there were weaknesses in his officiation, we accept responsibility.”
He said the referees body has since demanded a report from him that was supposed to be submitted on Monday.
“The report will help us to determine on whether he was wrong or right to award a penalty and depending on the outcome, the necessary action will be taken,” said Kalichelo.
Bullets general secretary Harold Fote alleged that they suspected their opponents bribed the referee.
“It’s not that he was incompetent because had he been incompetent, authorities would not have assigned him for such a crucial match, it means they had faith in his abilities, but he was clearly biased and we suspect he should have been palm-oiled.
“The penalty that he awarded to Epac was dubious and, instead, it should have been our free-kick,” said Fote in an interview yesterday.
Williams and Epac FC patron Dini Josaya-Banda dismissed Bullets claims.
Said Williams: “That is not true and that’s what supporters as well as officials say when things have not gone their way.”
Josaya-Banda dismissed the allegations saying Bullets are just frustrated with the defeat.
“What I can say is that the referee was grossly incompetent and we were not happy with how he handled the game either. Anabalalika zedi. The other problem was that they won the game before it was played, they were boasting that they would beat us 7-0 or 8-0 forgetting that a match is played on the pitch,” said Josaya-Banda.
However, the Epac patron admitted that there was a lot of tension prior, during and even after the match because of the controversy that surrounded the switch of players between the two teams, referring to Pilirani Zonda and Mussa Manyenje who joined Bullets and goalkeeper Owen Chaima who moved to Epac.
“It was a highly temperamental game, but the fact of the matter is that we beat them and it is not the first time we have beaten them. Even during one of the pre-season bonanza, we beat them again and when we come to Blantyre we shall underline our supremacy by beating them once again so that they should shut up,” said Josaya-Banda.