Fan dies and 20 injured in Malawi football violence
One fan has been killed and 20 more injured during skirmishes at a Malawi Super League game on Saturday.
Six of those injured are in a seriuous condition after fans from Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers clashed at the stadium in Balaka.
Police in the town, which is about 130 kilometres north of Blantyre, say the violence broke out in the second-half.
Strikers were leading 1-0 at the time and were on course to claim the point they needed to clinch a third straight title when the match was abandoned.
Super Leagie of Malawi general secretary Williams Banda
“"We do not expect death in the game as beautiful as soccer”
The police were forced to intervene and used teargas to try and disperse the fans in the 6,000 seat stadium which lead to a stampede.
Balaka Police spokesperson Joseph Sauka said scores of people were found down on the ground after the incident.
"We found one man laying on the ground covered in blood and rushed him to Balaka District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival," Sauka explained.
"Early indications show he must have been hit with something hard like a stone or bottle in the head.
"We will be able to make more comments on cause of the death once the hospital has concluded an autopsy."
Police say two people were detained after the confrontations and are expected to appear in court on Monday.
It is not the first time that Wanderers' supporters have been involved in clashes, earlier this year they were handed a home ground ban for violence.
However this time it seems that the clashes were instigated by Silver Strikers's fans.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom), who organise the league, said the incident was unfortunate and it will conduct a thorough investigation.
"We do not expect death in the game as beautiful as soccer," Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said.
"This is very shocking and we will make sure that all those involved are brought before the court of law.
"We have information on several more fans that were caught on camera and submitted such to the police.
"We hope they will do a good job because it is only when perpetrators are punished that we can end violence."