Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu says he is looking forward to working with new Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama despite the Lilongwe City South East legislature’s publicly accusing him of practising partisan politics.
Speaking after he toured FAM offices at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre on Thursday, Msungama reiterated his call for FAM, specially its president, to be apolitical, saying football fans are from different political affiliates; hence, the need for the association to be neutral.
In his response Nyamuilandu said the association had taken the minister’s sentiments and was ready to work with him.
Nyamilandu said: “I had a one-on-one meeting with the minister [on Wednesday] in Lilongwe. We had an open discussion where I clarified issues with him and I don’t want to argue with the minister. He is my boss. I have taken his sentiments and we will clarify this misconception.”
The FAM president said he looks forward to FAM having a good working relationship with Msungama despite the bumpy start.
“We are building a relationship. Now that he is the sports minister, he will understand us when we work together closely. For me, let’s look into the future. The new government has an agenda to transform every sector of this country. Football has been lagging behind. We would like that transformation to happen in football.
“How we work in this country to support football is transforming from being a social to commercial enterprise. That mentality has to change. I am sure that we have the right man to change things. He is very passionate and energetic. He wants to leave a mark. We have been fighting alone as a party for many years. Now that he is at the helm he is the right person.
Meanwhile, Msungama says government is willing to support football to reach its greatest potential so long as FAM shows that it is committed to the cause.
He said: “Like I said before, the [State] President’s interest is to ensure that our football develops; our football going to the level where everyone else will be able to say we are doing well as a nation.”
Nyamilandu courted controversy after he was captured wearing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) beret in public last year.
FAM also drew the wrath of the public after the association sponsored on MBC the presentation of nomination papers in the run up to the May 19 2019 Tripartite Elections.