Chibowa launches blueprint for FAM presidency

Henry ‘Kaka’ Chibowa, who is challenging Football Assocociation of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu for the hot seat, has unveiled his manifesto with a roadmap to “ transforming” the country’s flagship league clubs into “professional entities” and bring back all sponsors that had run away from the sport.

Chibowa, the former Super League of Malawi president,  is accredited for wooing Telecom Networks Limited (TNM) to bankroll the Super League and they have been stable sponsors.

Plan of action

Launching his manifesto on Thursday at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, Chibowa and his shadow executive pledged to form a strategic plan from 2012 to 2015 to guide the direction of FAM activities.

Chibowa: Time to switch from total village operation to professionalism

He said the previous FAM committees had no strategic plan.

“An institution can achieve nothing without a strategic plan as there will be no benchmarks to measure success,” said Chibowa, who once led Michiru Stars FC to glory when they had no sponsorship.

He was also successful secretary general of Mighty Wanderers FC and led the club to winning league titles.

The former footballer himself,  Chibowa who played in the University Football Club, Spearhead FC and Wanderers, said “together” with his team they will lure the corporate world to sponsor football in the country from the grassroots level by offering them something attracting in return.

“We have to convince companies that there is profit for them in investing in sports,” said ‘Kaka’

Mission possible

Chibowa was flanked at the lauch of his manifesto by his longtime ally, Gatson Mwenelupembe (legal advisor), National Women Football Committee chairperson Suzgo Ngwira, Central Region Football League (CRFL) chairperson Dean Josiah-Banda and Malawi’s football legend Peterkins ‘Beirut’ Kayira  who is Malawi Football Coaches Association (MFCA) general secretary.

He said their mission is “ to run the game of football effectively and efficiently” and of course not as he usually call ‘total village operation.’

Chibowa said they will do this “in tune with international conventions with a three-fold dimension—keeping people fit, providing exposure to sponsors and giving sustenance to the youth.”

The FAM presidential aspirant said “together” with his team, he wants to lead the soccer governing body in transforming football at the grass roots.

He said FAM will engange primary and secondary school teachers who manage sports through Malawi Secondary Schools Association (Massa) in talent search.

Chibowa said FAM would want to revive junior national teams from Under 17 and keep them active with regular international games.

Insurance cover

Chibowa touched on issue which concerns most of athletes in Malawi, aprticulary the football players –insurace.

He said his FAM will persuade the insurance companies to formulate affordable premium covers for football players.

Chibowa said they wouldmake insurance cover a mandatory to clubs at various levels.

“It is important that our players’ future be taken care of. In case of injury or other elements, they are well-covered,” said Chibowa.

Two-horse race

FAM is on December 17 expected to elect new members of its executive committee including its president in what promises to be a highly contested battle between Chibowa and Nyamilandu on presidential race.

Nyamilandu says he wants to seek a third term at the soccer governing body because there is currently no right person to succeed him.

When he launched his manifesto at the College of Medicine Sports Complex in Blantyre, Nyamilandu said he will guide the national team to 2014 World Cup qualification.

Nyamilandu disclosed that in his manifesto titled ‘Pursuit for Success and Excellence in Football through Professionalism and Sustainable Programs’ he is promising to secure sponsorship for sleeping giants Bullets FC and Mighty Wanderers FC (the club he once captained).

“I have sponsors ready to give them (Bullets and Wanderers) next year,” he pledged.

Third-term

Nyamilandu said he is seeking a third term because he has “unfinished business”.

His bid has received criticism with commentators saying he should have paved way for new brooms.

Micheal Mmeya wrttting in The Nation newspaper argued: “If common sense was common, this world would not have been damaged beyond repair by our leaders in different spheres. The sports fraternity has been destroyed by personal egos and some administrators’ failure to realise that there is a lot of good in leaving a worthwhile legacy.

“It is in this vein that this week I was shocked to hear FAM president Walter Nyamilandu declaring that he will seek a third term. Why, really, should a person of Nyamilandu’s calibre feel so important to Malawi football that after serving two terms—never mind the length of the term—does not feel tired to give others a chance to continue from where he would have left.”

Mmeya wondered “what uncompleted work Nyamilandu has to need a third term fo.”

He said the third term “ only confirms my fears that these sports positions, at whatever level, are on a gravy train too tempting to let go as long as one is alive.”

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