A lower league player has been banned for life from all football activities in Zambia for the offence of pouring beer on a referee. Zambia’s Daily Mail newspaper reported that midfielder Richard Sapalata poured beer on a First Assistant Referee following a disagreement during a recent Division Three game between his Garneton Athletics FC and Itimpi United in the Copperbelt.
The incident led to the game’s abandonment in the 41st minute while the team for Sapalata, who was not even in the playing squad on the day, led 1-0. According to the newspaper, the beer caused the referee to complain of severe pain in her eyes and ears.
A ruling from Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Copperbelt disciplinary committee chairperson Ticklay Mukosiku condemned the player’s action. “It is not in dispute that the match was abandoned after Mr Matipa Kesha, an Executive Member of Garneton Athletics, incited one of his players, Richard Sapalata, to pour alcohol on the First Assistant Referee,” the ruling reads in part.
“Pursuant to Articles 59 and 70 of the FAZ Disciplinary Code (FDC), as read with Article 92, Mr. Matipa Kesha is hereby banned for life from entering stadia and from taking part in any football-related activity that is organised by the Football Association of Zambia.
The ruling adds: “Richard Sapalata—Garneton Athletics Pursuant to Articles 59 and 70 of the FDC, as read with Article 92, Richard Sapalata is hereby banned for life from entering stadia and from taking part in any football-related activity that is organised by the Football Association of Zambia,” the ruling reads in part.
There was more drama as FAZ slapped Itimpi FC with a K1,000 fine and docked them three points for using an ineligible player in the same match. With such incidents, in the end, both teams were losers.