Nyamilandu justifies 3rd term bid at FAM

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) incumbent president Walter Nyamilandu says he wants to seek a third term at the soccer governing body because there is currently no right person to succeed him.

Nyamilandu will face former Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Henry ‘Kaka’ Chibowa for the two horse-race at FAM presidency on December 17 in Salima.

Third term

Speaking to Capital FM Straight Talk programme monitored by Nyasa Timeson Thursday night, Nyamilandu said he would not leave the football leadership to a defective leader.

Nyamilandu: I am a winner

“I wouldn’t want to leave it in the wrong hands,” he said.

“I look at the people that are interested I say no, we have not created a succession plan for a right person. Some other people want to go into football for wrong reasons,” claimed Nyamilandu.

The FAM president said he is seeking a third term because he has “unfinished business”.

“I believe that I am capable, I have performed and I have a winning formula,” he said.

Nyamilandu said the football constitution in Malawi and elsewhere including the world soccer governing body FIFA, provides for a president to go for an open term.

“Positions of football presidency are based on performance. If you perform well and your affiliates and the people think you have done a good job, there is no need for them to stop you from [contesting], they will still push into office,” he said.

“The people have come to me and said ‘Mr President you must stand again because you have done a fantastic job.’ Who am I to refuse when there is a call from the people?”

Democrcay

Asked whether he had an arrangement with Chibowa to hand over the mantle of FAM leadership to him, Nyamilandu said leadership cannot be handed over on a silver platter but on merit.

“There is democracy in football. The position (of FAM president) is won through elections,” he said.

Nyamilandu said he heard about such assertions and that he laughed it off.

“There are better and capable candidates in the country,” he said. “In as far as I am concerned we have not created a succession plan.”

“I think I still have a lot to offer.”

Nyamilandu also touted himself for transforming Malawi football and developed the national team from “whipping boys” to be one of the formidable sides in the continent.

“You will have observed that when I came on board, we tried to look at the right person (to be the coach).

“Over the years we have restored our pride and glory. I had to pick the right coach (Kinnah Phiri).

“Without the vision that I had, we could not have been where we are,” he said.

Corruption

Asked to comment on fevered reports that officials have been involved in wrongful self-enrichment through gate-collections, Nyamilandu conceded that the malpractice has been hampering the development of football.

But he said there have been measures to address that.

“Over the years the system has improved. There are times we have caught people selling fake tickets. We have taken them to police, they have been prosecuted,” he said.

He said apart from$250,000 annual grant FAM receives from FIFA and the Malawi government subvention, they want the body to raise its own revenue through gate takings and other businesses such as the sale of national team replica jerseys to supplement their income.

Pressed why jerseys are “expensive” at K9, 500, FAM president said “people are buying jerseys of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal at K20, 000 are they not able to buy their own national outfit at half a price.”

Nyamilandu was also quizzed on the reports that Fiscal Police are investing FAM over an alleged parallel bank account which the association opened.

“We opened the account at NBS bank for proceeds of replica jerseys,” he said.

Nyamilandu said FAM followed right procedures to open the account.

“First and foremost it is not wrong to open a bank account; it is common practice that when you are running business you must open an account. We haven’t flouted any procedure at all. That account has joint signatories,” he explained.

On calls for the executive of FAM to resign and pave way for investigations, Nyamilandu said he would not listen to such calls.

“To say that the executive must resigns, on what grounds? When we have not committed any crime. When they keep saying we must resign, it’s just political gimmick,” he said.

Nyamilandu described the calls for resignation as “propaganda” by his rivals “just trying to confuse people.”

“We are audited by KPMG every year. This account will be audited,” he said.

Sponsorship

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.

Nyamilandu also has promised to create a fund to support unsponsored Super League clubs, and professionalise the clubs.

He touts his agenda to bring “success, excellence, glory and pride to the nation”

Media

The FAM boss said he has been media friendly during his tenure but bemoaned that some journalists were bent on writting sensationalised stories.

He said “some journalists” have “abandoned their ethics” and are writing “stories that are unbalanced and untrue.”

Nyamilandu called on sports reporters to be “fair and just”

He said he has ensured that access of information is not denied at FAM by granting interviews to reporters even on phone around the clock.

Nyamilandu said the “media has a critical role to play in the way they shape this country particularly the development of football.”

Winner

Asked what he will do if the elections will not go in his favour, Nyamilandu said he was very confident that he will be re-elected.

“This is a winner, there is no way I am going to fail,” said Nyamilandu.

He said there is much panic in his challenger’s camp because indications were clear that he was heading for another term in office.

Nyamilandu who described himself as a “family man with four kids and a simple man”, said his focus now  is to take Malawi to the 2014 Brazil World Cup finals as well as to the 2013 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals and bow out of FAM on a high note.

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