Nyamilandu hits back at critics, refuses to step down as Malawi FA boss

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President, Walter Nyamilandu-Manda, has hit back at his critics who have been calling for his resignation for his failed promises,  saying he was not ready to throw in the towel.

One of his promises during campaign while vying for the third term as FAM president was to take the Flames to 2014 Brazil World Cup, an ambition his critics argue was unrealistic and raw.

But the team was stopped early this month from qualifying for the African play-offs for the tournament after finishing five points behind Nigeria in Group F.

However, Nyamilandu has hit back arguing his failure to qualify for the World Cup was not a determination for his resignation as he was now eyeing for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.

FAM President Walter Nyamilandu : I cannot resign now.-..Photo Jeromy Kadewere, Nyasa Times

FAM President Walter Nyamilandu : I cannot resign now.-..Photo Jeromy Kadewere, Nyasa Times

“When you’re planning in any organisation or to do any business and project, you plan for an ideal situation, you plan to attain the best result. You cannot participate in the qualifiers saying we’ll not qualify.

“So my vision was to take Malawi to the 2014 World Cup. That vision was meant to determine what kind of resources we need to go to the World Cup otherwise we’d be short-changed. But people are now taking it personal, that you said you’d take us to the World Cup but you didn’t go to the World Cup, so you’re a failure, ” Nyamilandu told MBC sports news.

He said as he was concerned his plans, vision and mission were right as he focused his whole energy towards going to the World Cup.

“If we had all the resources that we needed to go to the World Cup, am sure we’d have gone to the World Cup,” he challenged.

The FAM boss also noted the fact that Flames finished second place in Group F was an indication the World Cup dream was never a wild-goose-chase.

“We were number two in the Group. If it was another Africa Cup of Nations format, we’d have qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations. That’s why am saying we now have a better team to go to the Africa Cup of Nations next year. We’ll aim to be number one, but if we fall short we’ll be number two,” he stated.

Nyamilandu said for the first time in the history of Malawi football everyone had hopes that despite facing a giant (Nigeria’s Super Eagles) the World Cup was within reach had it been the team was given the right resources.

“Our resources didn’t match the vision. But we’ll continue planning for the ideal situation…So after this, now is the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015. The competition starts next year in March and we’ll plan to qualify. We’re not planning to fail, not at all. It is something that is achievable. We’ve built a young team now over the years and it’s now ready for the big stage,” he said.

Nyamilandu also came under fire following the manner in which he handled the hiring of Belgian coach Tom  Saintfiet to train the Flames, which many believe was not necessary.

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