Football Association of Malawi (FAM) incumbent president Walter Nyamilandu Manda has outlined his vision for Malawi football in the next four years if he is re-elected into office on December 12th this month saying his new leadership will ensure professionalism of the game in the country.
Nyamilandu, who faces Wilkins Mijiga and Willy Yabwanya Phiri, said his desire is to ensure that the standards of football are highly competitive like is the case in other countries, and that a business mind towards the conduct of football affairs in the country is adopted.
Speaking to Nyasa Times’s Mphatso Nkhoma in an exclusive interview, Nyamilandu who is also the Assistant General Manager of Illovo Sugar Company, said the past years he has been at the helm of Malawi football there have been a lot of developments that have happened which need continuity.
The calm, composed and confident Nyamilandu said this is the critical moment for Malawi football as they can make or break all good foundations which he has put in place if the elections will not be properly handled by all stakeholders mainly supporters and candidates.
He then called for clean and sober campaign that “if not well done” will not only tarnish the image of him personally or FAM but the whole football game as that can scare away existing and potential sponsors.
Meanwhile, Nyamilandu is expected to launch his much awaited Manifesto in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on Saturday.
He has assured that he is seeking renewal of mandate for his last term – a grand finale.
The following is part of the interview. Excerpts:
What is your plan for FAM if re-elected
My plan is to transform Malawi football into a professional status to ensure that the standard of play is highly competitive and to ensure that the football industry adopts a business mind-set in the conduct of their affairs. I will be embarking on a commercialisation agenda to generate the much needed revenue so that football becomes self-sustainable in the long term
Why seeking a fourth term ?
This is the defining moment of Malawi football hence the need for continuity to ensure stability and posterity of the milestones that have been achieved. It would pain me to see Malawi football go in the reverse direction having put in place all the necessary structures and systems. The next term will give me an opportunity to complete some of the unfinished business so that I can leave the game in safe and able hands. I shall live a happy man when I see the game go forward not backward when I shall bow down
Are you scared of Mijiga ?
Not at all – I have seen worst.
What about Yabwanya?
(Laughs) my brother read Joshua 1:9 then you shall know why and I’m saying I’m not afraid of anyone or competition
Do you think football standards are improving in Malawi?
There lots of success stories to show for having crossed a lot of dangerous rivers and overcome steep mountains. Tremendous strides have been made to develop the game of football from the grassroot levels and to restore the image of the beautiful game. We have managed to attract sponsors into the game of football and invested in essential infrastructure for the game to flourish. I am proud to see that the Flames are no longer the weeping boys or punching bags of Africa.
What about reports of financial scandals at FAM? Is the Association clean?
Those reports are fabricated by a few misguided individuals who have a hidden agenda. It is mere propaganda aimed at tarnishing the image of FAM as we approach elections. FAM is above board and clean in its day to day dealings. Corporate governance principles feature very highly in its operations. Audited accounts are submitted every year to the General Assembly of the income that has been received and how it is spent to the tambala. This shows that FAM is transparent and accountable and that’s why FIFA continues to fund FAM on several projects.
If you are not elected, will you accept the results?
Of course and why not, though that’s the least on my mind
What is really pushing you to fight for another term?
It’s for the love of the game and for the people who have shown trust and confidence in me. Our football is coming from the background where we have had no sponsor even for our elite league as sponsors run away due to poor administration and hooligan acts which were everywhere by then but now you can see teams are now getting sponsorship, we have different cups and sponsors in our regions as well as youth football all that it’s because of the leadership which fight for the end of hooliganism
We have different structures sponsored under FIFA for example newly launched under 15 FIFA/FAM cup and others which if not properly handled can easily go and that need proper transition which can’t happen just now with someone who dont know or understand where all those are coming from.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :