The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) has rallied its members to support FAM president Walter Nyamilandu’s bid to defend his Fifa Council post.
In a story published in The Herald of Zimbabwe yesterday, Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa is quoted as having drummed up support for Nyamilandu who went it alone in 2018 and defeated the Cosafa preferred candidate—South Africa Football Association president Danny Jordan—for the post.
“I appeal to all our member associations to support Walter Manda [Nyamilandu],” Chiyangwa is quoted as having said.
Confirming his decision to seek a fresh full term, Nyamilandu yesterday said: “Yes indeed… I will be defending my position as Fifa Council member at the elective general assembly which will take place on March 12 next year in Morocco.
“Having occupied the seat for two years, it is my desire to get a full term of office so that I can effectively contribute to the development of football around the world.
“To this effect, my nomination has since been submitted by the Football Association of Malawi.”
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda yesterday confirmed that the association has nominated its president.
“He is our very own and the current holder of the position and it was only proper that we support his cause,” he said.
On how Malawi has benefited from his tenure, Nyamilandu said: “As a member for the Anglophone speaking groups in Africa, I have lobbied and supported decisions that are pro-poor and these will directly benefit Malawi football both in the short and long-term.”
He cited the $1.5 million Covid-19 relief support from the world football governing body which has benefited players, officials, referees and clubs.
“I have also supported the increase in the number of participating teams at the World Cup from Africa to six, thereby giving Malawi a higher probability of qualifying in the unforeseeable future.
“Using my influence, FAM also managed to complete construction of Mpira Stadium with state-of-the-art facilities after the project had stalled for a considerable period,” he said.
Nyamilandu pulled a shocker in 2018 when he defeated Jordan by 35 votes to 18 after two rounds of voting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The pair had been in a three-way vote along with former Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president Leodgar Tenga, who dropped out in the first round.
The position became open following the resignation of former Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was filmed by an investigative journalist allegedly taking a $65 000 (then about K49 million) bribe.
The anglophone countries have two slots in the Fifa Council and the first to officially declare his interest for the post was current TFF president Wallace Karia.
Meanwhile, according to The Herald, during the same Cosafa executive committee virtual meeting, it was also agreed to endorse the candidature of incumbent CAF president Ahmad Ahmad in the upcoming elections.
The CAF presidential elections are also scheduled for March 12 next year.
“Cosafa president Philip Chiyangwa welcomed members present and thanked all the member associations in the region for endorsing the candidature of president Ahmad Ahmad for a second term at the CAF General Assembly in March 2021,” reads part of the article which quotes the minutes.
Ahmad, from Madagascar, became CAF’s seventh president in March 2017 after he outfoxed long-serving Cameroonian, Issa Hayatou.