With just two days before Fifa presidential elections, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said it will choose its candidate right at the congress in Zurich, Switzerland.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu, who will cast the vote on behalf of the association this Friday, told The Nation in an interview that they are exercising a lot of caution.
“The campaign usually intensifies during the last days when we arrive at the congress. Normally, that’s when firm decisions are made by member associations,” he said just before departure.
Five candidates—Prince Ali of Jordan, South African businessperson Tokyo Sexwale, Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, former Fifa deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne and Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino—are set to contest for football’s highest seat in the race to succeed Joseph Sepp Blatter who resigned amid a corruption scandal.
“I hope the elections will be the turning point for restoring the battered image of Fifa. This hinges on electing a credible person that sponsors and the football family can trust.
“I can assure you that we will do the most honourable thing by voting wisely,” said Nyamilandu, who is accompanied by his vice James Mwenda and FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda, who will also be one of the scrutineers.
Ironically, Nyamilandu’s Zimbabwean and Zambian counterparts Phillip Chiyangwa and Kalusha Bwalya respectively, are also singing the same tune.
Despite meeting Salman who is Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) recommended candidate, Chiyangwa was quoted by The Standard of Zimbabwe last week as saying: “He is a candidate, I am a voter. I was travelling on other football related business in Dubai and that is where I met him. [But] for now I cannot definitely say who Zimbabwe is voting for.”
Bwalya was also quoted by Times of Zambia last week saying they will wait until the very last day to make a decision.
This is despite CAF’s instruction to its member associations to support Salman.
Earlier this month, CAF pledged to support Bahraini at a meeting held in Rwanda while overlooking the candidacy of Africa’s only entrant Tokyo Sexwale.
But Nyamilandu snubbed CAF by declaring that they would make their own decision on who to support.
“It’s a right of member associations to vote. We will inform our decisions independently,” Nyamilandu then said. n