By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
Civo Stadium was filled to capacity during a Chifundo Shield Cup match between Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets organized by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) only to gross K11.4 million as massive gate fraud was discovered during the showdown.
Before the match, open stands’ tickets with the same serial numbers were seen being sold out to football fans despite the FA outsourced gate collections to Fellowship Association on Malawi (FAMA).
It was also discovered that some security personnel were seen receiving K500 from fans who were bargaining for a lesser fee in order to access the match.
An advanced open stand ticket was bought at K1,000 but at the gate on the match day, football fanatics were paying K2000, with covered stand advanced ticket costing at K3,000 with the same ticket bought at K4, 500 during the match day.
The VIP advance ticket was bought at K5,000 but on the match day it was costing football fans K7, 500.
An official from FAMA who refused to be named told this publication that security personnel at the Stadium made things very difficult for them to work as it failed to discharge their duties.
It was also revealed that the fake tickets were produced by some officials from the FA who have been doing this for quite some time now. Some weeks ago, FAM had a stakeholders’ meeting at Mpira Village where they reviewed gate collection management procedures in order to minimize fraud during local and international matches but with the latest development, Malawians are yet to see if this will yield any fruit.
Efforts to speak to FAM’s Commercial Director Limbani Matola proved futile as his cell phone lines went unanswered.
The Shield Cup which costed FAM K7 million, will see part of the collection donated to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) to buy patients trollies.