Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says the country’s football players need spiritual guidance to manage fame and fortune so that they realise their full potential.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu made the remarks in Blantyre on Friday afternoon when he presided over the closing ceremony of a 21-day Sport Chaplaincy Workshop organised by Sport Chaplaincy Malawi.
Nyamilandu said players have pressure to manage their social life because they lack counselling and spiritual guidance and the association will partner with Sport Chaplaincy Malawi to offer that service.
He said: “We need God’s intervention in our football. Most players nowadays are under pressure on how to spiritually take care of themselves and, if they don’t
handle the situation properly, their future is compromised.
“We need team chaplains to offer that guidance and counselling on how players can behave and handle themselves because the devil thrives on pleasure and where there is power.
“We want this campaign to be embraced by everybody in football because we all believe in God. Every team must appoint a team chaplain.”
Nyamilandu’s remarks come a week after South Africa-based Flames striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango made headlines in the Rainbow Nation’s media for various issues.
South Africa’s online publication Sundayworld alleged in its article alleged that the Orlando Pirates striker was allegedly detained for hours at Club Propaganda after failing to pay a 26 000 rand (about K1.4 million) bill, a story which the club refuted.
But the club acknowledged that the former Nyasa Big Bullets striker was their frequent customer and videos of Gaba and his friends having fun at the club made rounds on social media soon after the article came out.
Days later, he was also on the front page of the South
Africa’s tabloid The Sun in an article a porn actor accused the player’s car of running on her foot after a binge.
Former Malawi’s Flames player Chancy Gondwe, who played for Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits University in South Africa said Mhango needs councelling.
He said: “I went through the same things when I was in South Africa and look what eventually happened to my career. When you are famous everyone wants to be
associated with you and you won’t realise it because you are enjoying the attention.
“When all this nightclub business is happening, you feel like you are sitting on top of the world, but life will humble you.
“The next thing you will soon be history so such kind of people need someone who can talk to them.”
Sports chaplaincy is aimed at guiding sports personalities to lead a spiritual life to avoid the pressure and challenges that comes with their celebrity status.
Sport Chaplaincy Malawi country coordinator Pastor Emmanuel Chodzeka said they will attach the 16 chaplains to Super League clubs and other sport institutions.
“The chaplains have been drilled in sport emotional hearing, conflict resolution, serve and leadership. So, we will attach them to football and sport institutions to serve and help our players grow spiritually,’ said Chodzeka