Football administrator and business magnate Dean Josiah-Banda has played down the possibility of conflict of interest (COI) considering his direct involvement with two Super League teamsâ€”Epac and Civil Service (Civo) United.
National football coach Kinnah Phiriâ€™s involvement with Big Bullets FC, where he is the patron, has also often come under scrutiny while FAM president Walter Nyamilandu has at times been accused of sympathising with his former club Mighty Wanderers.
According to Wikipedia, a conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organisation is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.
Josiah-Banda who sponsors Epac FC, was recently elected vice-chairperson of Civo United, raising concerns that he might find himself in a tight corner as regards conflict of interest.
However, Josiah-Banda insisted that he can handle the situation as he has done before.
“Of course, I have been elected to a much higher position of vice-chairperson at Civo United FC, but before that I was still in the executive committee of the club as vice-treasurer while still sponsoring Epac in the Super League.
“I have never encountered any problems and I donâ€™t expect to find myself in a situation that would compromise my position.
“Both Epac and Civo are my teams and I love them so much. I sponsor Epac from my business and I have followed Civo for a very long time,” said Josiah-Banda, who is also Lilongwe and Districts Football League (LDFL) boss.
On a lighter note, when contacted on which team he would support in the event that the two teams met in a cup final or league decider, Josiah-Banda said: “I wouldnâ€™t throw my weight behind one team. If I found myself in such a situation, I would just wish both teams well and congratulate the winning team.
“That is what I have been doing all along because they have met in league matches before. I tread carefully.”
On his part Kinnah said while he is patron of the Peopleâ€™s Team, he is not directly involved in its operations.
“Yes, I am part of the setup at Big Bullets being the patron, but I am not involved in the operations of the club as they have their own executive board,” Kinnah said.
He also dismissed reports that he has in the past used his authority as the Flames mentor to persuade players to join Bulletsâ€”the club he helped both as a player and a coachâ€”to scale greater heights.
At some point Wanderers vocal supporters committee chairperson Yona Green-Malunga accused Kinnah of using his influence to persuade former Nomads midfielder Henry Kabichi to join Bullets.
“That is not true. Kabichi joined Bullets because of Ben Sawanga who is Bullets GS. You may recall that before Kabichi joined Wanderers, he used to play for Blackpool which was owned by Sawanga and his move was tainted with controversy. So, I was not involved at all,” Kinnah insisted.
He also claimed that had he been using his influence then there would have been several Bullets players in the national team.
“But tell me how many Bullets players make it even in the national team for locals? It could be just one or two. Sometimes none,” said Kinnah.
On his part Nyamilandu said he is above club football.
“While it is a fact that I played and managed Wanderers before, it is not true to suggest that I am a sympathiser of the club. As president of the countryâ€™s football association I am above club football and I treat all teams equally,” he said.
He also dismissed suggestions that FAM leased MDC Stadium to the Nomads because of his influence.
“Wanderers used the normal procedure to lease the stadium. If I am not mistaken it was during tenure of either Humphrey Mvula or Sydney Chikoti and when they failed to meet the conditions, we ejected them from the stadium,” Nyamilandu said.
However, football commentator Felix Ngamanya-Sapao said all the three were in tricky situations.
“While they might try to be impartial, they will still be associated with their former teams because of their past. The challenge, however, is to maintain a neutral stand,” Ngamanya-Sapao said.