The validity of a two-year ban imposed on chess players Joseph Mwale, Joseph Nyambalo and Vitumbiko Gondwe has been put into doubt following Malawi National Council of Sports’ (MNCS) revelations that no document exists on the suspension.
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) suspended the trio for boycotting the 2014 African Chess Championship in Namibia.
But Sports Council has written Mwale’s lawyer Wapona Kita explaining that there is no documented evidence to prove the players were suspended.
This was in response to Kita’s appeal on his client’s ban.
The letter, signed by MNCS executive secretary George Jana reads: “We have consulted with the Chess Association of Malawi, who have advised that they never issued any letter(s) of suspension to Joseph Mwale and are therefore, wondering what proof [Joseph Mwale] presented to you of his suspension. May you kindly provide us with the relevant evidence/proof of Joseph Mwale’s suspension to enable us find a way forward to resolve the matter.”
In an interview, Kita said that this is enough proof that the ban on the players does not exist.
“We take it that Mwale (and the others) were not suspended. He (they) will continue participating in tournaments,” he said.
But Chessam president Kezzie Msukwa argued that they would not be obliged to make any move on the player’s appeal letter in the absence of an attached document regarding the suspension.
“We do not know which suspension the appellants are referring to,” he said.