Malawi teams given reduced bans after appeal

By Frank KanduBBC Sport, Blantyre
Tear gas at the stadium in Balaka

Malawi sides Silver Strikers and Mighty Wanderers have had their bans for crowd violence reduced after an appeal.

Silver Strikers' eight-month suspension has been decreased to six games, while Wanderers now have a four-match ban instead of five months.

Wanderer's original fine of US$1620 remains the same but Silver Strikers must now pay $8,470 - up from $6640.

The teams were found guilty of failing to control their supporters at their league match on 28 December.

The Super League of Malawi appeals committee said in a statement on Tuesday that "this reduction of punishment has been arrived at considering the plight of the players whose livelihood is solely football and have neither productive activities nor employment contracts with the respective clubs and have dependants".

The governing body added: "In the event that either club is found guilty of further acts of violence within the next eight months, they should be automatically suspended from the League."

The teams will start serving the ban after replaying the match which was abandoned in the 61st minute when Strikers, who needed only a point to be declared champions, were leading 1-0.

The match will be played on 25 January behind closed doors with both teams providing security.

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