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Ball in Fam Electoral Committee’s court

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Tears, laughter or joy, are anticipated this weekend as Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Electoral Committee make a determination on who is eligible to stand in the forthcoming polls to be held in Salima.

The bone of contention is Article 34 Sub- Section Two which stipulates that members of the Executive Committee shall be more than 30 years of age and possess a minimum of Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE) or its equivalent. They must have already been active in association football for a period of not less than five years (active as a player or official) and must not have been previously convicted in the last seven years of a crime involving dishonesty and moral turpitude. They shall have residence within the territory of Fam.

The expression by ‘Association Football’ means that the game controlled by Fifa and organised in accordance with the Laws of the Game while the term ‘officials’ means every board member, referee and assistance referee, coach trainer and any other person (except players) responsible for technical, medical and administrative matters in Fifa, a Confederation, Association, League or Club as well as other persons obliged to comply with the Fifa Statutes.

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The nation is waiting with abated breath to hear the interpretation and determination of this Article by the Electoral Committee which comprises High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise, prominent lawyers Meyer Chisanga and James Kaphale.

I believe these are legal minds of high integrity and rarely would one question their decisions.

It should be stated that when these rules were being formulated, no one anticipated that incumbent the Walter Nyamilandu would be seeking a fourth mandate.

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No one imagined that Wilkins Mijiga would be a Fam presidential aspirant and that Willy Yabwana Phiri would come out of his cocoon in Canada to aspire for the Fam presidency.

The constitution was amended in good faith under the close supervision of Fifa’s legal team, and the statutes need to be interpreted as such.

We don’t need rocket science to interpret the rules.

We hope each candidate would be asked to comment on the content of his report before it is produced to the public.

We have been in this football game for over two decades to know who is who.

In case there are queries from the aspirants, they can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne (Switzerland) since football matters are not supposed to go to civil courts as stipulated in Fifa regulations.

The Fam Electoral Committee will continue to supervise the electoral process to ensure that each candidate complies with all applicable Fam regulations.

It should be noted that controversy that would ensue from this committee would overshadow the December 12 elections in Salima. But I believe, in life bold decisions have to be made and have to be made strongly.

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