The law bars me—Nyamilandu
The three-term presidency restriction adopted by Fifa has attracted mixed reactions from stakeholders with some describing it as harsh while others see it as a major step towards salvaging the battered image of football ravaged by waves of corruption.
Out of 207 members 179 supported the package of landmark reforms including introduction of three-term limit, to pave the way for improvements to the governance of football.
One of the protesters of the three-term limit, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) President Gordon Derrick Derrick told Jamaican Observer that the restriction run counter to the true nature of democracy.
He said: “I am a true believer in democracy, so off the bat I don’t think there should be term limits. In general, we have accepted the reforms, but we have some areas that some members are asking for more explanation and clarification, especially where it relates to term limits.
“Some members don’t think there should be term limits, as we operate a democracy and I fully understand that position. Fundamentally, I have a problem with term limits,” Derrick stated.
The world football governing body has explained that the term limit will not be applied retroactively.
“The term limits set forth in the relevant provisions of the revised Fifa statutes will only apply to existing members of the existing committees as from the date of completion of their current mandates,” Fifa said in a communiqué.
FAM legal adviser Jabbar Alide could not be drawn to expound on what the Fifa’s statement entails.
“Once reforms have been approved, Fifa normally deploys communication and this provides guidance on how such reforms are to be implemented. Mind you, Fifa has so many members and if each and every member approaches the situation in its own way, you can imagine the confusion.
“You may recall that we have just amended our constitution. That process was led by a Fifa team giving as timelines on how best to approach it as regards the provisions to be amended. I am sure Fifa will guide us how we are going to factor the reforms in our constitution as well as the transition. Whatever is going to happen I am certain Fifa will want to make sure there is uniformity across the board.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said he would make sure all the amendments are adopted.
“The critical issue on the reforms is to follow the due process of amending the statutes once we have received the guidelines and instructions from Fifa. You can be rest assured that FAM will comply,” said Nyamilandu.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that the term limit were to be effected soon after the assembly adopted them.
Nyirenda said: “The idea is to stop life terms that breed corruption, ineptitude and complete stagnation. Yes, the Fifa statutes on maximum terms aren’t meant to apply retrospectively. That doesn’t imply that if someone has so far done 12 years already, they can go on to serve another 12 years because the Fifa statutes on term limits have started this year.
“The spirit of the term restrictions shouldn’t be deliberately misinterpreted that way to satisfy selfish designs. In simple terms, the implication is that anyone who has completed two terms and is in their third term can’t stand again once their current term expires.”
UK-based lawyer Sunduzwayo Madise was also of the view that the Fifa three-term limit came into effect once adopted by the Fifa assembly.
“From now onwards, those rules apply,” said Madise who once served as Super League of Malawi president.
Nyamilandu, who is serving a fourth term, also shared the same view adding that at the expiry of his current mandate, he would not be eligible to contest for another term.
“How can I stand when the law bars fourth term? One has to respect the constitution. I am a law abiding citizen,” said Nyamilandu.