FAM president Walter Nyamilandu believes Flames and Nyasa Big Bullets legend Lawrence ‘Lule’ Waya is the best footballer Malawi has ever produced.
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president made the declaration on Saturday during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Salima where it honoured Waya alongside retiring technical director John Kaputa and referees technical development officer Maxwell Mtonga.
Said Nyamilandu: “Lawrence is a legend. To me, he is the best player the country has ever produced and we thought of recognising him as he is still alive.”
The topic on who is the country’s best ever footballer has always divided opinions with names such as Waya, Kinnah Phiri, the late Cliffton Msiya, the late Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana, Young Chimodzi, Kennedy Malunga, Ernest Mtawali, Esau Kanyenda and Yasin Osman being thrown in the fray.
Waya, who is Malawi’s fourth most capped player with 132 appearances and joint second all-time top scorer with 27 goals, got a Certificate of Excellence and a K500 000 cheque as a token of appreciation for his service to Malawi football.
The revered former Bullets striker said he felt honoured to be recognised while he is still alive.
“I would like to thank FAM for the gesture. It feels good to be here and witness this while I am alive and I would like to urge FAM to do the same to more legends out there,” said Waya, who played for the Flames between 1982 and 1996.
On Kaputa and Mtonga, Nyamilandu said they too deserved the recognition for their service to the development of Malawi football.
He said: “They have sacrificed a lot for the good of the game. Kaputa and Mtonga were loyal servants of the game and FAM. They deserved a ceremonial farewell.
“Kaputa has played a big role in laying youth football development and coaching structures. Mtonga has groomed a lot of top referees in the country. We will continue to use them in our projects.”
During the meeting the congress passed the association’s 2021 budget. The meeting also approved the FAM financial reports for 18 months ending December 31 2020 which had a surplus of K159 million.