Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu says he does not see anything wrong with wearing a Democrat Progressive Party (DPP) beret.
Nyamilandu was captured wearing a DPP beret last Friday in Limbe, Blantyre when President Peter Mutharika addressed whistle-stop campaign rallies and the photograph went viral on social media
In an interview on Saturday, Nyamilandu defended his act, saying he wore the DPP beret because he likes it.
“I like the beret. People can admire the beret. It has become fashionable,” said the FAM president.
Nyamilandu said wearing the beret was also a sign of respect to the State President.
“I wore it yesterday [Friday] when the State President was passing by as a sign of respect,” he said.
Asked if that is not sending a wrong picture by aligning himself to a political party, his response was: “Not at all.
The focus should not be on the party, but the beret.”
We shouldn’t personalise or politicise issues all the time.”
But football analyst George Kaudza Masina said as much as the FAM President has the freedom of association, his position is delicate to show his true political colours.
“He could have done better by keeping his political affiliation to himself. Football is a unifying sport and should remain as such minus political affiliation,” he said.
FAM legal adviser Jabbar Alide said article 38 of the body’s constitution only prohibits a member of the executive committee of FAM from holding a political position.
However, Article 4.1 of Fifa statutes state that: “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”