BeForward Wanderers Football Club has apologised to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Malawi following the use of the Dorcus Uniform by one of their supporters at a Kamuzu Stadium re-opening match in Blantyre on Saturday.
A lot of SDA members have reacted angrily to the development, describing it as provocative and an insult to their church.
Director of the Women Ministry in SDA, , Emily Banda Egolet, complained against a display made by Wanderers supporter who was clad in the attire similar to that of the organization at a football match between Wanderers and Azam Tigers on Saturday, at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The ‘Dorcas Women’ lamented the use of ‘their’ colours and uniform as football costume, calling it disturbing, saying it demeans their faith considering that it was done on a Saturday which is regarded as a holy Sabbath for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
“Although some SDA members patronize football games on the Sabbath, they do not do so clad in their church uniforms because they know that the uniform has a purpose and has to be respected as such,” complained Egolet.
Wanderers Secretary General, Mike Butao, said the team is sorry to the church “although we cannot control what our supporters wear at football matches.”
In a published statement, Mike Butao, the football club’s General Secretary said the team had noted the from the SDA Church and has since assured the church the matter will be addressed once and for all.
“We wish to assure the SDA Church and all other churches in Malawi that the Wanderers family is an all-embracing family and we have supporters from all faith groupings. We would never ever encourage or tolerate any act or behaviour that puts us in conflict with any faith or religion or indeed any grouping of any sort. We have the best behaved supporters in the country and we have already communicated to all supporters committees across the country to desist from and/or be on the lookout for anything that would be deemed offensive to individuals, organizations, faith groups, political parties or any other grouping.
“So even though we can not control what happens in the stands, we can at least dissociate the club from any negative issues happening there that have not been sanctioned by the club.
“So we apologize to the SDA church for this particular incident. We believe it was religiously insensitive and we believe the young man concerned has noted and regrets his mistake,” said Butao.
It has been a trend at football matches that supporters wear different costumes of different colours to boost morale for their respective teams but this extreme was a first of its kind and has received mixed reactions from the masses.