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Associations race against time to implement guidelines

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

The clock is ticking too fast for some sports associations as they remain with less than three months before the sports guidelines come into full force.

Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS), unveiled the guidelines during the Sports Indaba held in Lilongwe in September.

The guidelines, among other things, limit term of office for elected officials to maximum of two terms of three years each and a bachelor’s degree for national association’s presidents.

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All sports associations were given a period of six months to ensure that their constitutions, regulations, policies and any such instruments are aligned with the guidelines.

However, random interviews conducted this week shows that majority of the associations have not amended their constitutions having earlier faced mixed reactions from the sports associations.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) was expected to discuss the matter during its Executive Committee Meeting held in Mangochi Friday.

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However, Fam Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the resolutions will be shared at an appropriate time.

The maximum two term for office for president is in conflict with Fam statutes which restricted it to maximum of three years in line with Fifa statutes. In October this year, Fam president Walter Nyamilandu said the association was seeking guidance from Fifa on the same.

The guidelines also put a minimum of a diploma for position of general secretary in all sports associations.

Additionally, all associations are supposed to have strategic and implementation plan. All associations must also submit audited accounts and hold General Meeting every year.

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) vice president Chimwemwe Bakali said the association would comply before the deadline.

“We are working on the remaining areas of the requirements. We are targeting the 1st quarter of the new year to hold Annual General Meeting. We expect to audit accounts before the AGM,” he said.

In an interview, Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) spokesperson Francisco Mwangupili said the association had set the ball rolling.

“We have set a good example. We already aligned our constitution to the guidelines so we are not panicking,” Mwangupili said.

On his part, Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) General Secretary Peter Gomani said there is no need to press a panic button.

“We are not under pressure because we already followed the guidelines except very few things,” Gomani said.

The guidelines are aimed at promoting the value of good governance and best practices in sport management and administration for the good of sports and also assisting national sports associations and other stakeholders in appreciating and understanding the standards and conduct that are expected, respected and valued within the sports sector.

Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) General Secretary Frank Chitembeya said there is a need for a round table discussion between associations and Sports Council.

Sports Council Chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise insisted the guidelines are non-negotiable.

“Change is a gradual process. We need leaders with good attitude. If there will be some associations having problems to implement the guidelines, they will approach us and we will assist them,” Madise said.

Some associations asked for more time to implement the guidelines.

Sports analyst, George Kaudza Masina said most associations are likely to disregard the guidelines.

“If we are to make any headway, let MNCS and the associations go back to a round table and clarify sticky issues to each other, lets MNCS start using its muscle to whip on stubborn associations,’’ Kaudza Masina said.

The guidelines also call for associations to declare all sources of funds (within and outside Malawi) and levels of funding made available to them.

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