Football Association of Malawi (FAM) presidential hopeful Willy Yabwanya Phiri has unveiled his manifesto which promises to improve the welfare of players, inject resources into grassroots football and increase affiliates’ annual subvention.
This comes after the Karonga United sponsor won an appeal against his disqualification from the December 12 polls on the grounds that he is not based in the country.
The FAM elections appeal’s committee ruling means the Canada-based hopeful will battle for the presidency with incumbent Walter Nyamilandu and renowned marketer Wilkins Mijiga.
In the 17-page document, the Karonga United sponsor has also pledged to introduce electronic ticketing system so as to curb gate collection fraud.
Yabwanya Phiri, said he is displeased with the welfare of players whom he said languish in poverty once they have retired.
He said he plans to introduce pension schemes for footballers and to form Willy Yabwanya Foundation which will support players to attain tertiary qualifications.
“I have discovered that all players deserve a chance to pursue academic careers to prepare them for life after soccer,” he writes in the manifesto.
“Therefore my vision is to support them with bursaries and scholarship.”
In the manifesto titled ‘My vision is to transform Malawi football into a force to be reckoned with’, Yabwanya Phiri said he would also train coaches on how to improve grass roots football.
“I have made arrangements for former Arsenal youth development coach and Australian Football Federation coaches to come and train our coaches on how to develop grassroots soccer,” he said.
The presidential hopeful has also pledged to increase the annual subvention to the nine FAM affiliates from K150 000 to K1 million.
“Most affiliates are failing to execute their programmes and develop the game because of financial constraints and poor funding,” reads part of the manifesto.
Asked where he will source the funds to bankroll such ambitious programmess, Yabwanya Phiri said he has connections locally and abroad.
“We will woo more investors into the game. Through such investors, we will get enough money to run our projects,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Referees Committee general secretary Chris Kalichero has described the manifesto as good for the development of local football.
“We believe that these programmes he has outlined will be achieved. Our belief comes from the fact that he is passionate about football as evidenced by his spending of personal funds on Karonga United,” Kalichero, whose body nominated Yabwanya, said. n