Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and its nine affiliates have agreed to bar non affiliates from contesting in the association’s polls, The Nation can reveal.
A constitutional review meeting held in Mangochi on Sunday also agreed to remove academic qualification requirement for those vying for positions in the executive, quashing a proposal to introduce a bachelor’s degree benchmark.
Once the amendments are adopted at an annual general meeting (AGM) set for December, only those that have held positions at FAM affiliate level for the past five years will be allowed to contest.
Currently, FAM statutes Article 34 states that members of the executive committee must have already been active in association football for a period of not less than five years (active as a player or official).
But once the amendments are adopted, they will bar any newcomers, including those that hold positions at Super League clubs since they are affiliated to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and not FAM.
This has drawn an outcry from clubs and other stakeholders, accusing the current FAM leadership of trying to consolidate power.
Silver Strikers general secretary Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda, a lawyer, faulted the affiliates for introducing changes that only aim to protect their positions.
He said: “Laws that seek to target particular individuals are not good laws. FAM is different from any other trust or association. It serves the entire nation and its decisions ought to be for the public good and not to serve the interest of particular individuals or self-aggrandisement. If these rules were there when the current FAM president [Walter Nyamilandu] vied for office when he just retired from playing for Wanderers, he would not be president.”
Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga said the new laws undermine the role club officials play.
“If attainment of experience at club level is not sufficient for someone to contest for a position in FAM, then this is retrogressive for Malawian football. Who do they want? I hope these amendments are not designed to bar individuals they do not want at FAM. If what they are doing is good for the development of football in the country, so be it.”
Football analyst Kim Kamau said the changes have nothing to do with development of football.
He said: “Ninety percent of this current FAM executive has failed. These changes are there just to protect those people that are already in the executive committee. Shame on Malawi football.”
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda, speaking in his personal capacity, said Malawi football was turning into a cartel.
He said: “Each and every institution needs an injection of new blood at one point or the other. This new blood views things from a different perspective. The new blood rejuvenates the system. Unfortunately, we will turn our good game into a cartel, a brotherhood society. With that it will be difficult to have new blood and ideas in the system.”
There was no comment from FAM affiliates.
But FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda is today expected to issue a press statement on the proposed constitutional changes.
The meeting, however, nearly failed to take place after affiliates took FAM to task on who moved the motion to make the changes.
According to FAM constitution, only the general assembly can propose constitutional changes, but in this case the last AGM did not.
“This nearly put the meeting to a halt as affiliates demanded explanation on whom and when the motioned was moved. It was later resolved that the meeting should go on because FAM had already spent K13 million on the meeting and the constitutional changes process,” said our source who attended the meeting. n