Sports minister to summon Netball Association of Malawi
Malawi’s Sports minister Enock Chihana will next week summon Malawi National Council and Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) to investigate the reasons that have led the omission of Tigresses players from the Malawi Queens squad.
Chihana made the remarks after Malawi Queens head coach Griffin Saenda revealed that he was under instruction from Nam to leave out Tigresses players Sindie Simtowe, Beatrice Mpinganjira-Kadango and Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango from the 20-member team that was expected to go into camp on Thursday.
Tigresses players have been dropped on allegations of gross indiscipline following the postponement of the Presidential Cup national finals in Lilongwe last weekend.
Nam disqualified Tigresses after one of their players failed a pregnancy test. In reaction to the latest incident, Chihana said he was confused with malpractices that were creeping in into netball.
“To begin with the whole issue was handled childishly,” he said. “There was a better way that issue could have been handled.
“To suspend players from Malawi Queens for no genuine reasons it’s suicidal. Let us not make decisions that would affect the team at the international competition. There are better ways to deal with disciplinary issues.”
Chihana said the meeting would be held next week when he returns from South Africa.
“I want a detailed report on what led to the fracas at the games,” he said.
Nam president Rose Chinunda said the door was not completely shut for the Tigresses players.
“Firstly, we want to get down to the bottom of this issue. We were afraid that the players might not honour the call up because they were furious. So we wanted them to calm down a little,” she said.
Chinunda said Nam was equally concerned that the wrangles might affect Malawi Queens’ preparations ahead of the Test matches in Australia and the Fast5 Netball World Series in New Zealand.
Nam’s interference with the technical panel was also highlighted after two new faces from the squad Linda Mvula of Gerald Tasaukadala Sisters and Hendrina Longwe from Zomba Airwing were later removed from the initial call up.
The two novice players have also been replaced with equally amateurs—MTL Queens’ Pilirani Msukwa and Colleta Mwalilino of Civonets.