The country’s graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), has said it is satisfied with the life bans imposed on three referees for alleged match-fixing.
The National Referees Association (NRA) banned the referees—Aziz Nyirenda, Limbani Chisambi and Stephano Gomani— for allegedly pocketing K15,000 from Nchalo United officials to influence the result of their Carlsberg round-of-32 match against Chitipa United at Mzuzu Stadium in July.
ACB spokesperson, Egrita Ndala, said the punishment is sufficient enough to deter would-be offenders.
Ndala said ACB cannot pursue the matter for fear of being seen as persecuting the banned referees.
“We do not find any fault with the measures taken to punish the match officials. Getting a life ban from officiating football matches is enough punishment for the [three]. We will not pursue the matter because we are satisfied with the punishment,” Ndala said.
Ndala said ACB would wait to hear from Football Association of Malawi (Fam) on measures taken against Nchalo officials who are said to have made the offer.
Fam summoned Nchalo to a hearing on Friday at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre to hear the club’s side of the story.
The association’s General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, said their disciplinary committee would decide on when results of the probe are released. The banned match officials were part of the hearing as witnesses. The three referees deny committing the offence, claiming it was another referee, who was not on duty, who received the money on the pretext that he was to share the money with the officiating personnel. NRA General Secretary, Chris Kalichero, said the ban was necessary because match-fixing is a serious offence in football.