Football Association of Malawi (FAM) nominations for its December 12 polls, took a new twist on Sunday night when the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) nominated marketer Wilkins Mijiga to contest for the position of president.
Mijiga’s nomination has brought the number of presidential candidates to three. The others are incumbent Walter Nyamilandu and Karonga United owner Willy Yabwanya Phiri. It also marks the end of nominations because until Sunday, Sulom was the only affiliate yet to nominate candidates.
Following a meeting held at Sunbird Lilongwe, which lasted over four hours, apart from Mijiga, Sulom nominated Tiya Somba-Banda for first vice-president and Pikawo Ngalamila for second vice-president while Masauko Medi was nominated for executive member position.
Initially, the flagship league governing body’s meeting failed to agree on choice of candidates and resorted to voting.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda confirmed the outcome of the nomination meeting.
“There was a tie on Yabwanya Phiri and Mijiga. The second vote saw Mijiga getting more votes and he got the nomination,” said Banda.
On Monday, Mijiga said he is delighted with his nomination and declared that he will emerge triumphant.
“The fact that I have been nominated by the most influential affiliate means that I am the right person to become the next president
“I know that my opponents are now shiveringwhereever they are,” he said.
He also expressed optimism that the electoral committee will declare him eligible to stand, claiming that apart from serving as Big Bullets FC trustee, he also served in the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) board from 2008 to 2013.
Reacting to Mijiga’s nomination, Nyamilandu said the battle lines have been drawn and his team is prepared for any candidate.
Asked if it was a blow to him that Sulom, one of the most influential affiliates, had not nominated him, Nyamilandu responded: “We saw it coming because some members were upfront about it.”
The FAM leader also dismissed suggestions that being the incumbent, gives him an edge over other contenders.
“I won’t fall for the mind games. We are fighting on the same battle ground,” Nyamilandu said.
On his part, Yabwanya Phiri welcomed Mijiga’s nomination remarking: “I am happy for him [Mijiga]. It is healthy for our game to have competition.”
With eight delegates, Sulom will have the highest representation at the elective AGM.
Nyamilandu got nominated by seven out of the nine FAM affiliates with the other two shared by Phiri and Mijiga.
After the nominations, FAM electoral committee will now screen the candidates before announcing a provisional list of the candidates on November 14.
For one to contest he or she has to be nominated by at least one affiliate and must also have been active in football as a player or official for five years.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda, who is also the electoral committee secretary, said the final official list would be released on November 21 to give room to those that would have been rejected to appeal. n