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banner Friday, 25 May, 2001, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
South Africa to throw out Mtawali
Mtawali wins a header against Botswana in an international for Malawi this year
Mtawali wins a header against Botswana in an international for Malawi this year
Malawi international Ernest Mtawali faces being thrown out of South Africa after losing an appeal in the Pretoria High Court to prevent his arrest and deportation on charges of holding false identity papers.

The decision came just 24 hours after Mtawali's club Orlando Pirates won the South African Premier Soccer League title on Wednesday.

Mtawali was due to play in the 3-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in Springs, just outside Johannesburg, but injured himself in the pre-match warm-up and had to sit out the game.

The 34-year-old was found to have three different South African identity documents and ordered to be deported.

Regulations only allow five foreigners per club but Mtawali claimed dual South African and Malawian nationality.

Life ban in 1986

He first came to the country in 1984, using the name Ernest Chirwali, and has spent most of his career in South Africa, except for short spells with Newell's Old Boys in Argentina, Toulouse in France and in the United Arab Emirates.

Mtawali received a life ban from Fifa in 1986 for absconding from his Malawian club Hardware Stars to play in South Africa and was then expelled from international football because of the country's apartheid laws.

The ban was lifted after South Africa's re-entry into international football in 1992 and Mtawali resumed his career with the national team.

The midfielder was voted Footballer of the Year in South Africa in 1985 and is arguably the best foreign import to play in the country's top flight over the last two decades.

In what is likely to be his last game for Pirates now, Mtawali scored a magnificent last-minute volley against lowly Moroka Swallows to earn a 1-1 draw and set up Wednesday's title clincher.

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24 May 01 |  Africa
Pirates lift SA title
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