The weird act of urinating goalposts before matches that is very common
* It is unfortunate that some supporters would resort to unorthodox means of using juju during matches
* As a company, we do not believe in such beliefs and our supporters are even aware of this position
* Wanderers fans’ obsession with juju beliefs continues to haunt the team’s management through fines
* In September, club president Thom Mpinganjira emphasized that the juju beliefs was embarrassing and denting the club’s image
By Duncan Mlanjira
Mighty Wanderers have provided names and contact numbers of the teams alleged supporters who displayed strange behaviour and tampered with the pitch and the dressing room area due to juju beliefs as they distanced themselves from the charge laid upon them by Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
This incident took place at Kamuzu Stadium on November 6 during a TNM Super League match between the Nomads and MAFCO.
In the response letter, Board secretary of Mighty Wanderers Football Club 2021 Limited, Chauncy Gondwe says they looked at the picture evidence which FAM presented and deplored the behaviour of the supporters.
“It is unfortunate that some supporters would resort to unorthodox means of using juju during matches,” says the letter. “As a company, we do not believe in such beliefs and our supporters are even aware of this position.
“We are not responsible for what these alleged supporters did and we call upon FAM to deal with such conduct decisively against those individual supporters if at all a wrong was established.”
Thus the club provided names and contacts of the alleged supporters who are in the pictures that were sent by FAM as part of evidence and they are Dennis Chitsulo, Anthony Chiwanda, Meke, Goba, Loudie and Peter Mvalo.
“We urge FAM to summon those specific individuals and hear their side of the story as their conduct was not sanctioned by ourselves. We are ready to provide any assistance needed in your investigations as you proceed with the disciplinary hearing of the cited individuals.
“Meanwhile, we shall also proceed to take our own internal corrective measures. As Wanderers, we do not tolerate what happened on 6th November, 2022.”
When accepting to lead the limited company as its president in 2021, Thom Mpinganjira asked supporters to be exemplary and not be involved in deplorable behaviour of violence because Wanderers were known for its good discipline in the past.
In September, Mpinganjira told the Nation newspaper that some of the Nomads fans’ obsession with juju was embarrassing and denting the club’s image following incidents that followed each other in August.
The first was on August 7 at Dedza Stadium between Wanderers and Dedza Dynamos in the FDH Bank Cup Round of 16 match where the Nomads players urinated on the pitch before kick-off.
Barely a week later during their quarter-final match against Kamuzu Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium, some alleged Nomads fans were also captured pouring liquid stuff along the tunnel leading to the dressing room.
Mpinganjira told Garry Chirwa of the Nation that as the club embarks on a new chapter, it is important that the fans should conduct some soul-searching and do away with juju beliefs.
He is quoted as saying: “As a Christian, I get embarrassed with stories linking the team to acts of juju. We shouldn’t be believing in juju because it doesn’t work in football. It is something that is psychological.
“Everyone knows that football is about investing in technical and tactical skills. That is why teams such as Manchester City and Real Madrid do well. It is the supporters who are behind this and, in turn, they brainwash the players.”
Mpinganjira stressed that the practice has the potential to affect the club’s sponsorship and when the Nation contacted Wanderers supporters committee chairperson, Dinesi Chitsulo said they have embarked on an awareness campaign to get rid of the juju obsession.
“I for one do not believe in juju and I have been propagating against such practices,” he was quoted as saying. “In fact, there are just a few individuals who are involved in the act.
“They do it without the knowledge of my committee, but it is indeed embarrassing and it is costing us a lot in fines.”
FAM instituted disciplinary action against Wanderers over the incident at Dedza Stadium, saying the weird behaviour is contrary to the 2022 FDH Bank Cup Rules and Regulations.
They were found guilty of bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to Article 67 of the FAM Disciplinary Code, fined K1.5 million and suspended for a period of six months from the date of the decision, on condition that during the period of suspension, they are not found guilty of the same offence again.
For urinating on the pitch upon arrival at the stadium and pouring urine around the dressing room area, Wanderers were fined K500,000.
However, some school of thought fault Wanderers from distancing themselves from FAM’s charge of misconduct as it is clearly constituted in the football governing body’s competition’s statutes bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to the FAM Disciplinary Code.
“What the football fraternity needs to do is go back to this FAM Disciplinary Code and legally re-align it if clubs are failing to control their supporters from such deplorable behaviour,” said a source who did not want to be named.
“The pitch is a sacred area — only meant to be accessed by those tasked with the responsibility of match management. No one else should be allowed onto the pitch.
“Pitch invasion is a serious offence elsewhere in as far as football match management is concerned for the safety and security of the players and match officials.
“It is time sanity was brought at the venues. For heaven’s sake, If juju really works, the Flames could have been winning the Africa Cup of Nations many times, including the FIFA World Cup.”