Sports Minister summons Nam officials over dropped Tigresses players

Malawi national netball team will travel to New Zealand without Tigresses players Sindie Simtowe, Beatrice Mpinganjira and Grace Mwafulirwa.
The players were dropped following a controversy that erupted after Tigresses player was discovered pregnant and this led to her club being disqualified from Presidential Cup final.
The 2013 Presidential Cup netball championship ended in controversy on Sunday after Tigresses were disqualified for featuring a pregnant player.
According to the competitions’ rules, a player cannot participate in the tournament if she is pregnant.
Drama started just as Tigresses were about to take to the court to play their semi-finals match against Civonets.
Netball Association of Malawi officials stormed the court and announced that the team had been disqualified because Malawi Queens shooter Lauren Ngwira had tested positive after an impromptu pregnancy test.
Nam president Rosy Chinunda confirmed that this was done after the officials got suspicious and the test proved she was expecting a baby.
Chinunda said the final would be played at a later date after sorting out the controversy.
However, Tigresses protested vehemently arguing that the pregnancy test was un-procedural and a infringement of the player’s right.
Tigresses assistant coach Charles Mhango argued that International Netball Federation does not impose pregnancy test on players.
He also argued that in the event of the organisers decide to include the test they should have done so at least three weeks before the competition.
Tigresses are demanding K2.8 million compensation which they have used on accommodation and transportation among others.
Coach Griffin Saenda has now dropped the Tigresses players and Sports Minister Enock Chihana has demanded a full report on the incident.
“To begin with the whole issue was handled childishly. There was a better way that issue could have been handled. To suspend players from Malawi Queens for no genuine reasons it’s suicidal. Let us not make decisions that would affect the team at the international competition. There are better ways to deal with disciplinary issues. I want a detailed report on what led to the fracas at the games,” the minister said.
Nam president Rose Chinunda said the door was not completely shut for the Tigresses players.
“Firstly, we want to get down to the bottom of this issue. We were afraid that the players might not honour the call up because they were furious. So we wanted them to calm down a little,” she said.
Playing while pregnant is a controversial issue in netball circles.
Some associations do not allow it while others are silent on the matter.
England Netball does not allow a pregnant player to play after 12th week.
In New Zealand the law does not discriminate based on pregnancy.
It allows players to play until when they feel they cannot do so anymore.

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