Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has joined the world’s highest paid executives following his appointment as Fifa Council member, Nation Online can reveal.
According to Fifa 2017 financial statement, each of the 37 elected Fifa Council members are entitled to a $250 000 stipend per year (about K183 million), translating to about K15.3 million a month.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino, on the other hand, gets $1.5 million (K1.1 billion) per year.
Apart from the salary, the council members are also entitled to an additional $150 each (K110 000) per diem as well as business-class travel and accommodation while attending Fifa meetings and events.
At the end of a four-year term, the Fifa Council members are eligible to a pension. The association pays gives $9 000 for each year’s service (about K6.6 million), paid for the equal number of years upon the council member leaving.
The perks, structured by Fifa’s Compensation Sub-Committee which is responsible for defining the individual annual compensation of the Fifa president, vice-presidents and members of the Council, are way above the average pay for executives both in sports and other organisations.
“According to the accounting firm KPMG, the average pay for executives who perform similar roles get about $81 000 [about K59.4 million]. Lodestone Global, which helps firms to design boards of directors, stated in a report that analysed 331 companies in 39 countries that non-executive directors for private companies of comparable size to Fifa should receive about $48 000 a year [about K35.2 million],” New York Times reported in July.
By virtue of being in Fifa Council, Nyamilandu is also Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive member.
But soon after his election in 2017, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad suspended salaries, saying there is need to review all perks for the president and his executive committee.
“I’ve refused a CAF salary for the simple reason it doesn’t respect good administration. The salaries of all CAF employees, from administrators to the executive committee and president—all have to be transparent. The reform of the administration is a very important point—everyone must know what is happening. First we must review the standards of management, so that we can apply the reforms,” Ahmad told BBC.
Ahmad, however, promised to introduce compensatory allowance for all heads of associations.
Back home, Nyamilandu, who is marketing head for London Stock Exchange-listed Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc, is not entitled to a salary at FAM, but gets an allowance of K35 000, fuel and hotel accommodation when on the association’s duties.
Nyamilandu refused to comment on his perks, saying it was against Fifa ethics.
“I can’t comment on Fifa matters, otherwise I will be contravening the rules. The official spokesperson is Fifa general secretary,” he said.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that apart from the prestige of being in Fifa Council, the members are entitled to obscene stipend and pension at the expense of member associations.
“Look at the local football player on the ground. Does he benefit from their sweat? These are the things that annoy people when it comes to how funds are handled at Fifa,” he said.
The perks for the Fifa council members were made public after Fifa’s 2017 financial statement was released.
According to its annual reports, Fifa’s turnover has averaged $1.3 billion over the past four years.