Football Association of Malawi (FAM) yesterday blocked demonstrations aimed at petitioning the association’s president Walter Nyamilandu to resign and for the Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) to be fired.
According to the leader of the concerned supporters, Ajasi Kalowe, FAM has extended an olive branch through the police.
“I received a phone call from Southern Region Police Headquarters. They said their office received a letter from FAM signed by general secretary Alfred Gunda that we should meet FAM,” he said.
Kalowe said the march had been put on hold pending the meeting with FAM.
“As of now, we are still waiting for the letter. The march once again has been shifted till we hear why they want to meet us. If not satisfied, we will proceed. But we are still waiting for the letter because as of now, we have not yet received the letter,” he said.
This is the second time the organisers have rescheduled the march which was expected to start from Limbe Magistrate’s Court to FAM’s Mpira House in Chiwembe Township, after doing the same last week.
The march was rescheduled to yesterday after organisers were advised by police to do so as President Peter Mutharika was opening the National Agriculture Fair in Blantyre.
FAM competitions and media manager Gomezgani Zakazaka confirmed that FAM wrote the police stopping the demonstrations and inviting the concerned supporters to a meeting.
He said Nyamilandu will today hold a press briefing at Mpira House to respond to calls for his resignation and other issues.
“The FA president will address several issues concerning Malawi football, including the national team performance, calls to fire the Flames coach and calls for his [Nyamilandu] resignation,” he said.
Public outcry has soared following the Flames’ poor performance after recent back-to-back losses to Morocco and Kenya.
Blantyre-based giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers have since asked their supporters not to take part in the march, saying the demonstrations are irrelevant.
But football analyst George Chiusiwa faulted the two clubs for infringing on their supporters constitutional rights.
He said: “It’s naive, short-sighted and backward thinking for the leadership of Be Forward Wanderers FC and Nyasa Big Bullets FC to stop or prevent their supporters from taking part in the protests against the stewardship, state of corporate governance at FAM and the senior national team’s poor performance. FAM is a public agency operating on taxpayers’ money.
“The deplorable state of Malawi’s football is a concern to all football loving Malawians regardless of club loyalty or affiliation. The demonstrations against FAM are not about the two football clubs, but the county’s football. T
“The clubs’ supporters have fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Republican Constitution. Private interests of the leaders of the two clubs shouldn’t dictate the exercise of other people’s rights in public affairs. Malawi football is for all of us.”