A banned referee who threatened to spill the beans on the depth of match-fixing in Malawi football will be referred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the FA has announced.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) issued a statement on Thursday a day before the whistle-blower, Arthur Chilimba’s scheduled press conference to reveal the ‘real’ people behind match-fixing in domestic football.
“FAM is concerned with the allegations of corruption and match-fixing practices and it condemns such malpractices in the strongest sense because they are a threat to the integrity of the beautiful game.
“Following the tip that has been made available, FAM is determined to get to the bottom of the matter by using appropriate channels. Corruption is criminal in nature, and therefore, FAM will refer the matter to ACB, which is the competent body with powers to investigate matters of this nature,” FAM’s statement reads.
Chilimba has since shelved his press conference without giving reasons. His change of heart comes after he, on his request, met the FA officials on Wednesday in the commercial capital, Blantyre.
The National Referees Association banned Chilimba for three years from any involvement in football for allegedly attempting to solicit $2.5 (MK2,000) from top-flight Civil United Team Manager, Gabriel Chirwa, before the Lilongwe club’s national knockout match against Sable Farming FC in June 2021.
Chilimba pleads innocence saying Chirwa is a friend outside football and he asked him for the money in that respect, adding that such punishment should go to real match-fixers he will reveal soon.
“I asked for K2,000 from him not because of the game. He is a friend and he could assist me anytime. I think he was bitter that his side got booted out of the cup,” Chilimba told The Daily Times of July 28 2021.
Chirwa exposed the text message which Chilimba had sent him asking for the money soon after Civil lost the round-of-32 match to Sable Farming on post-match penalties.
Chirwa claims he did not give the referee the money and during the game, he ended up denying Civil clear penalty scoring opportunities.