A cross section of football fans on Saturday held demonstrations at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe during the finals of Airtel Top 8 demanding that Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu should not seek re-election during December polls and in fact should resign now.
Nyamilandu, who has been at the helm of FAM for the past 16 years, has all along insisted that he will not contest but recently hinted that he may run.
The FAM boss has come under criticism for his involvement in politics, apparently for taking part in helping Democrat Progressive Party (DPP) ‘Tippex’ the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Nyamilandu was captured wearing a DPP beret before polling when President Peter Mutharika addressed whistle-stop campaign rallies and the photograph went viral on social media
He defended his act, saying he wore the DPP beret because he likes it.
“I like the beret. People can admire the beret. It has become fashionable,” said the FAM president.
A football analyst George Kaudza Masina is on record to have said as much as the FAM President has the freedom of association, his position is delicate to show his true political colours.
“He could have done better by keeping his political affiliation to himself. Football is a unifying sport and should remain as such minus political affiliation,” he said.
Nyamilandu has also been criticised for the national team’s failure, having seen the Flames only qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals once in the past 16 years.
On a positive note, Nyamilandu has improved football infrastructure and structures. Currently, FAM has an office complex at Chiwembe in Blantyre where there’s also a hotel that generates revenue and accommodate players during camping.
During his reign, Nyamilandu has also managed to win the hearts of the corporate world as companies are coming forth to sponsor football competitions at professional and youth level.
Apart from being a member of Fifa Council, Nyamilandu is also an executive committee member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :