Zesco United maintained top spot in the MTN FAZ Super League with 40 points despite their match away to Mufulira Wanderers being abandoned on the half hour mark due to violence by a section of fans who threw objects on to the pitch following a goal by Zesco United.
Zesco United took the lead in the 31st minute through Winston Kalengo who fired into the bottom corner after being set up by Clatous Chama.
It was at that point when fans started throwing stones onto the pitch, incensed that Chota was in an offside position when he provided the assist for Kalengo’s goal, at the same time chanting that the game was too big for a female referee.
Referee Gladys Lengwe delayed the match for nine minutes before she decided to send both teams off the pitch for security reasons. However, only Zesco United players and their officials walked off to the dressing room area while Mufulira Wanderers players stayed on the pitch.
After a delay of approximately 50 minutes, Match Commissioner Regina Sikazwe decided that the match be played on condition that fans calmed down but Zesco United declined saying there was not enough time to allow players to warm up and that Shinde Stadium did not have lighting for the match to be played under floodlights.
A female Mufulira Wanderers fan known as Ba Gile (Grace) was arrested for attacking a Zesco United fan with a beer bottle security officials confirmed.
Zesco United Public Relations and Media Officer Katebe Chengo described the situation as unfortunate.
“It is quite unfortunate that such a situation happened and that we still experience such things at a time when we are trying to move in the right direction to develop Zambian football.
“It is a huge setback; it is quite unfortunate and disturbing,” Chengo said.
And Mufulira Wanderers Club Secretary Samuel Kalunga believes that the match will be replayed.
“Chances of having the match being replayed are high because the referee after assessing and discussing the situation with both sides allowed the match to continue but Zesco United declined. We do not know why they declined.
“The decision of the referee had 50-50 repercussions on both teams so there was no need to back off,” Kalunga said.
Kalunga insisted that the goal given to Zesco United was scored from an offside position.
“There was an infringement against our player which was ignored before the ball rolled to a player who was in a offside position. The referee allowed play to go and what followed were protests from fans and players,” he said.
A decision on the outcome of the match will be passed by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Disciplinary Committee following reports by match officials.