Sports Minister Enock Chihana Friday night (March 8, 2012) moved the audience gathered at Bingu International Conference Centre during the 2012/13 TNM Super League prize presentation when he told his critics point blank that he did not go to school to learn sports administration.
Addressing the gathering comprising league sponsors, football administrators, players, fans, journalists and other stakeholders, Chihana said he and his Ministry officials have been a subject of
ridicule and criticism in the print media on issues that are not under his control or jurisdiction.
“When you read a column by Pilirani Kachinziri in Malawi News you get the impression that Chihana is the worst Sports Minister but I must say it here that I did not go any school of sports administration.
“Nine months ago, I was in Sandton, South Africa enjoying myself and when I heard there was a by-election in Rumphi, I decided to come home and try my luck [and then I was elected MP].
“Fortunately or unfortunately, Joyce Banda became President of this country and appointed me as Sports Minister. I’m just like any other supporter so the media should stop pointing fingers at me as if I went to school to learn sports administration,” said Chihana having abandoned his prepared speech.
He went on to say that the government had its limits in as far as football or sports administration is concerned.
“As government, we have a limit or a line that we cannot cross. Our main role is policy making and financing of sports activities but the day to day running of football is [Football Association of Malawi] Fam’s responsibility. There is also Sports Council which oversees the administration of sports,” said Chihana.
The Minister then directed Sports Council to call for a stakeholders conference to discuss problems affecting sports development especially football and find solutions.
“Whether you want to have that conference at the moon or elsewhere, we will support you. I would want all stakeholders- be it the media, technical personnel, administrators and athletes to come together, identify the problems and suggest the way forward. People must also criticizing without offering solutions,” he said visibly angry.
Earlier, FAM second vice president Pikawo Ngalamila urged the Minister to intervene on the issue of gate collections to ensure that clubs get more revenue from games.
Chihana had a steady response to the request when he advised the local clubs to own playing grounds.
“The main problem is that most of our clubs do not have stadiums. We have Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers, who have been there for decades but they do not have a ground. The teams rely on stadiums belonging to other institutions and those institutions will charge a ground levy
for use of their facilities,” said the Minister.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Goodwell Bottoman saluted TNM for their
continued sponsorship for the country’s flagship league.
“My plea to all soccer followers is that we should always be with TNM as they have always been with us,” he said.
Chief Commercial Officer for TNM Charles Kamoto disclosed that the mobile firm had spent more than what was budgeted for in the K65 million package due to the challenges facing the country’s economy.
He said the sponsors were satisfied with the manner Sulom run the league and supporters conduct but reiterated that good management and a violence free atmosphere remained the cornerstones of the sponsorship agreement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :