Athletics election thrown into turmoil
The forthcoming Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) polls slated for this weekend will not be recognised by World Athletics (WA), Times Sport can reveal.
This follows a letter from WA which has been addressed to Ministry of Youth and Sports Principal Secretary Isaac Katopola advising the ministry to engage the AAM executive committee to resolve issues that were raised by the Malawi National Council of Sports.
“Therefore, we advise that your ministry establish a constructive dialogue with the current elected board of the AAM to resolve the underlying issues and safeguard their autonomy. We request that you work with the board and the membership of the AAM their elective general assembly to elect a new board in harmony for the development of Athletics in your country.
“Please note that any elective general assembly of the AAM organised by the caretaker committee will not be recognised by World Athletics,” the letter, which has been signed by WA Member Federations Relations Senior Head of Protocol Jee Isram, reads.
The world athletics body insists it is still recognising the AAM executive, with Godfrey Phiri as president and Frank Chitembeya as secretary.
Ironically, the pair was suspended from athletics before the ban was lifted following a public apology.
Apparently, the pair attracted council’s wrath because of failure to amend the constitution, provide audited financial reports and hold an annual general meeting within the stipulated period.
They were also accused of illegally using Malawi emblems and logos.
In response, Katopola confirmed receiving an email from World Athletics.
“As a ministry, we need to understand what is really going on before we can respond accordingly. There is a lot that goes on beyond the surface in sports administration. I also think that the message in the email should have been addressed to MNCS first. But, as a ministry, we will guide as to what should be done,” he said.
Council Public Relations and Communications Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa refused to comment whereas chairperson for the caretaker committee Justice Sylvester Kalembera said he could not comment as the letter had not been addressed to him.
Ironically, Phiri travelled to Zambia to attend the Confederation of African Athletics elective congress which got underway Tuesday.
He could not be reached for a comment.