Defeating one of African football’s strong man, South African Danny Jordaan for Anglophone African seat on the all-powerful FIFA Council is no mean achievement and our compatriot Walter Nyamilandu deserves a huge pat on the back.
He soundly beat Jordaan by 35 votes to 18 in the second round of the voting after also defeating him by 23 votes to 16 in the first round while Tanzanian Leodegar Tenga got 14. Since a majority vote was not reached, a second round was conducted.
Nyamilandu must have really impressed the delegates at the elective congress held in Egypt on Sunday considering that politicking by COSAFA had tried to persuade him to pave way for Jordaan but instead our man would have none of it.
According to reports, Jordan had been the preferred candidates of the COSAFA but Nyamilandu did not stand down as had been hoped and that created a chance for the South African to become an alternate anti-Jordaan candidate for CAF president Ahmad.
It is reported that Ahmad was beginning to lose support in his bid for re-election and he was drumming support from other African presidents to boost his chances but Jordaan was not one of them because of not voting for Morocco’s attempt to win the right to host the 2026 World Cup.
Jordaan’s action for prefering the united bid of Canada‚ Mexico and the USA infuriated Ahmad‚ who has been close to the Moroccans since his election two years ago and the north Africans are reported to have bankrolled a host of his projects and also offered him medical care when he suffered a heart problem.
Jordaan has now lost out in three bids for a place at the FIFA Council – which carries with it immense power in the game and what is bruising much to him is losing to little known Nyalimandu in as far as world football is concerned.
And the Malawian attracted even the attention of international media with Washington Post of the USA saying in its headline: ‘Relative unknown Walter Nyamilanduwins seat on FIFA Council’.
Reporting from Egypt, Washington’s Andrew Jackson Oryada said: “A relative unknown in international soccer politics, Nyamilandu now joins as one of the seven African representatives on the world body’s 37-member strategic panel headed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Jordaan was even endorsed by the southern African region as their preferred candidate ahead of Nyamilandu but that didn’t deter the underdog.”
This has put Nyamilandu in new perspective and his voice will carry some weight as he plans to have Africa benefit much more from FIFA, which shall include Malawi.
We should not expect Nyamilandu to just concentrate on Malawi, NO – it doesn’t work that way. He and the other Africans on the FIFA Council, are expected to work towards the continent’s development programmes to benefit all or selected FAs.
Nyamilandu has done a lot for Malawian football starting with being a Flames international defender in the 1990s and has been head of FAM since 2004.
He has been acknowledged by international media of having had a fairly low football politics profile outside Malawi and now Malawi is on the world football map and knowing him he will make his mark in the FIFA Council.
Congratulations, Walter and finish the remaining 15 months as FAM president in style. Those in the FAM executive aiming to replace him should take a leaf off him and with ideas of their own they should prepare good initiatives to develop the sport in Malawi to be presented to FIFA Council for consideration.
Support him wholeheartedly throughout the remaining 15 months for the good of our football for him to leave in style.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :