Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) has snubbed Malawi National Council of Sports’ (MNCS) request to approve and endorse the Blantyre Marathon scheduled for this Saturday.
MNCS has organised the 42.2-kilometre marathon from Ginnery Corner Roundabout through Kameza Roundabout, Machinjiri Turn Off and Maselema Roundabout to Kamuzu Stadium, but AAM argues the council is interfering in the association’s duties by staging the event.
AAM AAM general secretary Frank Chitembeya has also queried the council’s decision to take on board people that are not in the association to handle the event. The council has employed the expertise and know-how of former AAM officials Isaac Phiri and Mzee Makawa.
He said if the council proceeds with the event, Malawi risks International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) ban and the country’s athletes will be on the losing side as this is regarded as government interference.
But MNCS executive secretary George Jana yesterday said they could not involve AAM because the association’s role is just to approve and endorse the competition.
Part of the letter, which AAM wrote on October 25 in response to MNCS’ request, reads: “We have received your request with great dismay, especially upon noting that it is coming from the council, which is the government.
“It is clearly known that its role is not staging championships, but playing an advisory role to national federations. Staging athletics championships lies in the hands of AAM just like is the case with football, netball and other disciplines not the council.”
According to the letter, AAM believes the council’s request is viewed as “very unnecessary” and deemed as a “trespass” into the activities of the association.
“AAM has the feeling that MNCS is in a better position to know what is stipulated in Malawi Constitution as to what the council is supposed to do. The council is also knowledgeable of AAM’s constitution, which stipulates, in article one, that staging of all athletics championships lies in the hands of the association,” reads the letter.
But Jana, who insisted the marathon is on, said yesterday: “AAM has been approving other competitions organised by other entities such as the Standard Bank Be More Race why do they find it difficult to do the same with the Blantyre Marathon. We know they just want us to pump money into their coffers.”