Beach Soccer Association (BSA) has threatened to seek the intervention of civil courts if FAM sanctions elections to replace its current leadership without addressing their grievances.
Last month, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) ordered its affiliate BSA to hold elections within 21 days, having established that the mandate of the current executive committee (ex-co) expired two years ago.
However, in a letter dated July 2 2020, BSA appealed to FAM to halt the plans to have elections, arguing that its mandate will expire in 2022 as it was renewed way back.
“It is in view of the foregoing that Beach Soccer organised its meeting on 5th August 2018 to appoint new office bearers as per the attached minutes.
“Pursuant to Article 16(1) (b) of the FAM statutes, the meeting resolved that “the current committee [should] serve another term.” The office holder’s tenure of office is due to expire on 4th August, 2022,” the letter to FAM reads.
In an interview, BSA president Kondwani Gondwe said though the expiry of the 21 days elapsed yesterday, FAM has not responded to their appeal.
He suspected that FAM has a sinister plan to force the elections before it addresses their concerns.
“They haven’t responded to our letter which we feel is not fair. Let me say this; if FAM goes ahead with elections, we will seek the intervention of the Malawi National Council of Sports. If the council sides with FAM then we will go to court to seek an injunction,” he warned.
World football governing body Fifa prohibits taking football matters to civil courts.
Article 59 (2) of the Fifa statutes (2018) provides thus: “Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the Fifa regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.”
Asked if their action will not be against this statute, Gondwe said all they are seeking is justice.
“We are aware of the prohibitions. However, there are some instances when you don’t have any other means to pursue justice other than the courts,” he said.
FAM, in its earlier letter, further said that, in its capacity as regulator, it had resolved to return the operations and management of the BSA activities until the election is held and office bearers assume office in line with the statutes.
Meanwhile, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda has said he was surprise that BSA has appealed as if the matter was a legal issue.
“We only gave governance direction. I was, therefore, surprised to receive a letter of appeal. Who are they appealing to, by the way?” He quizzed but, promised to respond after consulting.
Gunda argued that BSA did not hold elections in 2018 as its leadership asserts: “What happened, if you look at the minutes, was not even close to an election. This is why we intervened.”