TheComeback- Well four referees in Malawi have been banned for life for accepting a bribe to fix a cup match in the African country. But the story just starts from there.
In a national cup match in Malawi, refs Aziz Nyirenda, Limbani Chisambi, Stephano Gomani and Jimmy Phiri were given $20 by Nchalo United to defeat Chitipa United. The problem was that Nchalo wasn’t able to defeat Chitipa. The two teams drew 1-1 and Nchalo lost in penalties. Because Nchalo didn’t get what they paid for, they demanded their money back. And after the refs could find only $15, Nchalo reported them.
Because referee behavior has been a problem in Malawi, penalties are strict, and the four officials would be banned for life. Chisambi denies any wrongdoing but is still connected to the referee crew, so it’s irrelevant whether he did or didn’t engage in the fix. At the moment, Nchalo hasn’t received punishment for bribery, but the team is being investigated.
Well I, for one, am absolutely stunned that soccer referees in Malawi accepted a bribe to fix a match without having a lenient refund policy in place. Just outrageous that the type of people that would be willing to compromise the integrity of their sport for a $20 handshake wouldn't have the integrity to return that $20 when failing to uphold the stipulations of that handshake.
Look, I don't know how good of a job these officials did in fixing this match. Considering that Nchalo United felt compelled to pay-per-'W' in the first place, it's quite possible that they are bad beyond bribery. That said, it wouldn't have mattered if the officials pocketed their whistles right along with their new found finances, because purchasing calls is like purchasing drugs...you get what you get and you shut up and make the best out of it. I don't know how the standings work in African soccer leagues but the team that couldn't buy their way into the win column should probably just be happy that the referees kept it close and got it to penalty kicks, because they weren't even required to do that after that money changed hands. An oral agreement is about as binding as every word that comes out of the mouth of Donald Trump, so you might as grab your proverbial pussy and go home if your looking for a rebate from racketeering referees.
I guess I'm fine with these refs getting eternally kicked out of the league for receiving kickbacks, but the team that rendered their help useless should probably follow suit. After all, by expecting the crooked officials to kick the ball in the net for them they basically did the athletic equivalent of buying a blender and then returning it as "broken" when they failed to hold the top in place as their smoothie sprayed all over the kitchen.