With barely a week before the Fifa Council polls, Football Association Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu says he is banking on the incumbency factor to retain his position.
The polls are set for next Friday and the FAM president faces stiff competition from five other contestants.
In an interview yesterday, the Nyamilandu said: “I am determined to defend my position in the Fifa Council come rain or sunshine.
“It’s a tough and fierce competition and I am hoping to edge my competitors by virtue of being the incumbent.
“I have presented a solid plan titled Football at Crossroads and everyone is impressed with my vision and leadership qualities.
“During my two years in office, I was also involved in key decisions which have benefited Cosafa in general and Africa in particular, notably being approval of Covid-19 Relief Fund, increase in World Cup slots for Africa from five to 10, increase in Fifa Forward Member Associations and Zones.”
But football analyst George Kaudza Masina said this is a litmus test for Nyamilandu.
He said: “Unlike in the past election, this time around, Walter has got credible challengers and his chances are a bit slim.
“But knowing Walter and football politics at play, the chances of him retaining the hot seat are still high.
“The biggest challenge though, is that he has competition within the house, Cosafa, which will require him to play his cards well.
“Otherwise, we wish him well and his success will be a success to Malawi as a nation.”
Nyamilandu, who has served as African Anglophone Fifa Council member for two years, faces Nigerian Pinnick Amaju, Lamin Bajo from The Gambia, Nick Mwendwa (Kenya), Tanzanian Wallace Karia and fellow Cosafa member and Zambia FA president Andrew Kamanga.
Nyamilandu replaced former Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi, who resigned amid corruption allegations.
In the previous polls, he beat South Africa FA president Danny Jordaan and Tanzanian Leodegar Tenga.