Chaos as referee runs for life at refurbished Chipata Stadium

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Chaotic scenes of violence and insults erupted at the refurbished David Kaunda Stadium in Chipata yesterday, forcing a referee into a run-for-life marathon.

What was started as an electric and entertaining game of football pitting Provincial Division One rivals Chipata City Council FC and Mikalile FC descended into chaos at the final whistle.

In a spectacular turnaround, Mikalile FC snatched victory with a late goal, securing a 3-2 triumph that set the stage for mayhem.

However, jubilation turned to fury among some supporters who transformed the stadium into a WWE royal rumble, expressing their discontent with the referees.

Alleged poor officiating fueled the ire, igniting a brawl that saw punches and kicks raining down on the match officials.

The mob’s wrath spared no one, catching linesmen in its clutches as they attempted to flee the escalating violence.

The fallout from this football fracas prompted a swift response from the Eastern Province Football Association, as outlined in a memo dated 26th November 2023.

Chairperson Chrispin Kamuna condemned the “barbaric acts of extreme hooliganism,” stressing that such behavior had no place in Eastern Province football or Zambia as a whole.

Kamuna reassured the public about the well-being of the officials while vehemently denouncing the unruly actions.

“We regret these acts and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” declared Kamuna, emphasizing the commitment to upholding the integrity of the sport through stringent disciplinary measures.

The memo, circulated to Secretary Generals and key figures including FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga and Provincial Referees Coordinator Emmanuel Phiri, expressed deep regret over the disturbance during the match and underscored the potential threat to the lives of match officials.

Despite the physical harm suffered, the memo assured that the officials are in stable condition and out of danger. Kamuna highlighted the clear rules and regulations governing football in Zambia, citing a violation of the 2021 Disciplinary Code of FAZ.

In fulfilling FAZ’s duty to protect match officials, Kamuna reminded the Provincial Referees Coordinator not to allow any game to proceed without adequate security, as mandated by the 2021 Disciplinary Code of FAZ. The responsibility for ensuring this security rested firmly with the hosting team.

By Moses Makwaya

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