Dilemma hits athletics camp
Confederation of African Athletics delegation to intervene
The feud between Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) and two banned athletics officials has taken a new twist following claims that Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) will intervene on the matter by engaging the government.
On Monday, MNCS announced that it had banned Godfrey Phiri and Frank Chitembeya who were president and general secretary respectively for the dissolved Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) executive committee.
Following the ban, Phiri and Chitembeya reported the case to CAA, a body mandated to govern athletics affairs on the continent.
Phiri said the continental body will send an entourage including CAA president Hamad Kalkaba Malboum to engage the government through the council so that Malawi should not be banned at international level.
“It is true we got communication from president of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) that he and his entourage are coming to Malawi over the matter.
“What MNCS did was direct government interference and Malawi risks being banned. We wouldn’t want to reach that level because it is the innocent athletes who are going to suffer,” Phiri said.
However, MNCS Public Relations and Communications Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa said they are not aware of Malboum’s impending CAA visit to Malawi.
“We haven’t been briefed about that. We are also hearing that from other outlets. Let them come and we are ready to tell them our side of the story,” he said.
MNCS banned the two from running athletics for allegedly using Malawi’s emblems and logos without permission and failure to abide to rules and regulations of MNCS.
In a statement issued Monday and signed by MNCS Public Relations and Communications Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa, the council warned stakeholders against dealing with the two on athletics matters.
“MNCS wishes to inform the general public and the athletics family that it has immediately banned Mr Godfrey Phiri and Frank Chitembeya, who were the President and General Secretary, respectively, of the Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) from taking part in, participating in and organising any athletic events in the country.
“As alluded to, no institution in Malawi should deal or transact with the dissolved committee members on any business affairs concerning athletics. Anyone who disregards this notice does so at their own peril,” the statement read.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.