FAM president Walter Nyamilandu says he anticipates a tough race at next year’s Fifa Council members’ election after five candidates emerged for the two slots reserved for the English speaking bloc
At the close of nominations on Thursday, Lamin Kaba Bajo (Gambia FA president), Nicholas Mwendwa (Kenya FA president), Nyamilandu, Wallace Karia (Tanzania FA president), Amaju Melvin Pinnick (Nigeria FA president) and Andrew Kamanga (Zambia FA president) were confirmed to battle it out for the English speaking bloc post.
Nyamilandu said in an interview that unlike in 2018, this time around he expects tough competition.
He said: “Too many candidates. You can never tell. It will be very tough.”
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president was recently endorsed by Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) as its candidate.
Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa has been drumming up support for the bloc to vote for Nyamilandu at the March 12 2021 elections.
But just like in 2018 when Nyamilandu challenged Cosafa endorsed candidate South Africa Football Association president Danny Jordan, the FAM president is in the same predicament as his Zambian counterpart has defied Cosafa’s decision and will vie for the post.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that Nyamilandu faces an uphill task to retain the position.
“The good thing is he knows he faces a tough race. So, he has some homework to do to convince the delegates to give him a full mandate,” he said.
Nyamilandu’s campaign for a full term centres on his achievements in the two years that he finished former Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi’s term after he resigned following bribery accusation.
During his two-year stint, Nyamilandu pushed for an increase in African teams slots at World Cup to six and lobbied for more financial support for Fifa member associations, including the $1.5 million Covid-19 Relief Fund for member associations.
Meanwhile, in the Arab/Luso-Spanish speaking group, Hany Abourida, Gustavo Ndong Edu, Khireddine Zetchi and Fouzi Lekjaa are vying for the position while French speaking group has Constant Omari Se´le´mani, Mathurin De Chacus, Gbe`zonde´ Kossi Akpovi and Mamoutou Toure. Burundian Lydia Nsekera and Isha Johansen from Sierra Leone are vying for the women’s representative post.