Football Association of Malawi (FAM) affiliates have begun preparing for life without long-serving president Walter Nyamilandu by proposing and screening names of his potential successor, Weekend Nation understands.
Nyamilandu, who has led the association for the past 15 years, announced he will not seek a fourth term when his mandate expires this coming December although twice in the past, he has said the same only to make a U-turn.
According to some affliates we have interviewed, the names making rounds as his potential successors are vice-president James Mwenda and executive committee members Daudi Mtanthiko and Jabber Alide.
In an interview, National Youth Football Association general secretary Thoko Chimbali confirmed that the three names were dominating succession debate.
“Those names are strongly connected to the FAM presidency. However, our committee is waiting for them to officially express interest, scrutinise their manifestos before we decide who to support,” he said.
Central Region Football Association vice-chairperson Simion Lijenje separately also asserted that the three are being mentioned as potential successors.
“In my opinion, I would love it if Mwenda is elected. He has got passion for the game and has served football at all levels,” he said.
Northern Region Football Association general secretary Masiya Nyasulu said he has only heard about Mwenda’s pending candidature.
“We have accepted the decision by Nyamilandu to retire. Informally, I have discussed with some affiliates and most of them feel it is important we focus on electing a leader with the same vision or better,” he said.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Tiya Somba-Banda said so far, no presidential aspirant has approached his body.
However, he said they would back a candidate who has passion for football professionalisation.
“Sulom is currently implementing this and we would support someone who can support professionalisation of football at regional and national level,” he said.
Mwenda welcomed the endorsements saying: “I am humbled by the confidence the affiliates, who are king makers, have in me. I will shortly make my position known.”
However, both Mtanthiko and Alide said they are vying for vice-presidency.
Said Mtanthiko: “I can confirm that I am eyeing the position of first vice-president.”
On his part, Alide also said at the moment, he is considering to vie for the first vice-presidency.
“People from all angles have approached me to stand as president. However, I feel I can contribute better as first vice-president,” he said.
Outgoing president Nyamilandu said it was encouraging that affiliates are able to express their views on who should succeed him.
“As for me, I am only waiting for my time to leave office. I am also looking forward to the nomination period to see who the affiliates will nominate,” he said.
Asked if he has any preference in terms who he wants to succeed him, Nyamilandu said: “No. The affiliates will decide.”