An undercover investigation by Nyasa Times online publication has revealed Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is behind the relegation and promotion mess at Super League of Malawi (Sulom), which was on Tuesday found guilty by a court of law of mishandling an appeal case by Dedza Young Soccer against promotion play-offs.
Since the stand-off between Dedza and Sulom started, Nyasa Times went undercover to establish the root of the problem and our investigations have revealed Fam is behind all the mess.
According to the findings of the undercover investigation, Fam has been using Sulom vice president Daud Suleyman and some officials from Malawi Defence Force (MDF) in Sulom executive to influence the Sulom executive not to promote Dedza Young Soccer, which finished above both Airborne Rangers and FISD Wizzards in the 2015 Super League season.
“People including you sports journalists are looking at this issue from the surface but there is more to it than your eyes can see. This is Part Two of the Fam elections saga. You remember Sulom supported and voted for an ‘opposition’ candidate during the Fam elections. This did not please the Fam leadership and the entire ‘Team Walter Nyamilandu.’
“Team Walter Nyamilandu has now embarked on an underground campaign to hit back at Sulom President Innocent Botomani, general secretary Williams Banda and treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda. The pro-Walter camp is considering both legal and non-legal means to get rid of the three and let Daud Suleyman take over the leadership of Sulom.
“With a large presence of teams from central region where Botomani and Banda operates from, ‘Team Walter’ feels it would be a bit difficult to succeed in the plot hence the push to have bottom-placed FISD Wizzards stay in the top-flight league. Peter Mponda (Wizards director) is aware of this and he has pledged to cooperate,” revealed a source from ‘Team Walter’ after being spoiled with the ‘hard stuff’ at one of the popular drinking joints.
According to the source, Plan B is to have more teams from MDF in the Super League as Suleyman is in good books with most of the teams from MDF. It has also been easy for Fam to penetrate Sulom using MDF officials,” said the source, citing an example of a Sulom executive member from MDF, Godfrey Makawano who, reportedly voted for Nyamilandu, reducing the league’s votes for Wilkins Mijiga from eight to seven during the Fam elective AGM in Mangochi.
The decision by MDF Sulom executive members to reject Botomani’s hand-picked candidate Masauko Medi and vote for Rashid Ntelera during the Fam elections is also one of the grounds Fam is using that MDF officials can help in the cause.
More sources approached by Nyasa Times’ investigative team corroborated the story, saying the plot dubbed ‘Tit-for-Tat’ is being handled in a ‘very systematic’ manner and the Dedza saga is just one of the approaches ‘Team Walter’ is taking.
Fam has refused to drag its feet into the Sulom mess with its chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda informing the media that the FA is under instructions from its legal advisors not to comment on the issue.
But Sulom vice president Suleyman, a staunch supporter of Fam president Walter Nyamilandu has been closely following the Dedza vs Sulom case at the Lilongwe High Court, where he has been present in almost all the hearings.
It is not clear who has been funding travel expenses for the Blantyre based Sulom veep as Sulom is presently in deep financial woes.
Both Botomani and Banda were not available for comment when Nyasa Times wanted to find out from them if they are aware of the plot to get rid of them from Sulom.
Meanwhile, Dedza Young Soccer have welcomed the Tuesday determination by High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire that Sulom should hear Dedza’s case but the club’s officials say they will have reservations with the presence of any member from MDF on the hearing panel.
“We will go for the hearing when summoned by Sulom but if there will be any member from MDF on the hearing panel, we will ask that member to honourably recuse himself as an interested party since there is a military team, Airborne Rangers involved in this set-up,” said an official from the club at the high court.
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