To some of us who have been in the game of football for some time, it did not come as a surprise that incumbent Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president, Walter Nyamilandu, scooped seven out of eight nominations cast so far ahead of the December 12 polls. The other contestants, except Willy Yabwana Phiri, failed to get nominations.
It was not surprising because most of the domestic soccer pundits offered these aspirants free advice but they ignored it by branding the advisors as Fam puppets who are on Walter’s payroll.
Among other pieces of advice, aspirants were told that it was risky and foolish to invest money in Fam elections campaign before being nominated.
They were told that football is a cartel and it is difficult for a rank-outsider to come in and occupy such a high office because even if Walter steps down today his replacement will still come from within.
In fact, they should have listened to seasoned football administrator, Kelvin Mmangisa, when he pulled out of the race after realising that the affiliates had already made up their mind on who to vote for as president.
To defeat someone who has spent 12 years in office, and has established links with affiliates, requires proper tactical acumen.
Some aspirants wasted time and resources trying to bribe their way in through the media. For sure, Walter did not need the media to secure the avalanche of nominations he has attracted. He, probably, talked to the right people, the affiliates. I don’t think he even needs the media to help him retain his position as Fam president.
It is shocking that someone, who is based in Canada like Willy Yabwana Phiri, can secure a nomination when our own pampered Malawian-based aspirants have failed.
It is utter nonsense for anyone to claim that the affiliates were threatened by the incumbent Fam regime to nominate Walter. If you closely examine the composition of the affiliated committees, you will see that the majority of their members are no ordinary citizens. They are people with integrity. Some are top security officers in the Malawi Defence Force and Malawi Police Service. Some are chartered accountants, university lecturers and the majority are university graduates, and above all mature people. Certainly, they cannot be pushed left, right, and centre. No wonder, the referees have nominated Yabwanya and Sulom is still not under pressure to nominate.
Admit that tactically you got it wrong and you deserved this embarrassment. Next time, get your tactics right and have proper advisers, instead of inexperienced and frustrated young men, with stale brains, who have nothing to offer to football. That is the only way to avoid blisters of boiling Walter.
Let the Salima journey continue as dejected aspirants go back to the drawing board.
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