Dust is refusing to settle on the spat between Minister of Sports Ulemu Msungama and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamulandu as some former Malawi national team stars think Nyamilandu has to step aside for the good of the game.
Msungama, during his familiarisation tour at Fam offices in Blantyre expressed displeasure with Nyamilandu’s association with the just defeated Democratic Progressive Party led government, which seems not auguring well with the current administration of which Msungama is the minister.
Former Flames midfielder Chancy Gondwe and full-back Ojukwu Malunga say they fear Malawi’s football would suffer following a strained relationship between Msungama and Nyamilandu.
Gondwe said Malawi’s football would be thrown in turmoil if Nyamilandu does not step down.
“I know Nyamilandu was duly elected and it is the affiliates that can decide his fate. However, for the good of the game I urge the Fam president to consider resigning because it seems the new government is not pleased with what he did. If Nyamilandu still stays at the helm of leadership then we will likely have problems including funding issues,” said the former Bata Bullets (now Nyasa Big Bullets and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder).
Malunga said Fam’s office requires neutral leaders because they serve affiliates with different political backgrounds.
“I am among those people asking for the Fam president to resign. It will be difficult for him to administer football without government’s backing.
“There are several pointers that Nyamilandu is politically compromised. Maybe if he had asked for forgiveness for his previous actions it would have made sense,” he said.
Nyamilandu said it was time to move on.
“I will not make any further comments on this matter. Let us move on. Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said.
Nyamilandu was re-elected Fam president after defeating the association’s former first vice president James Mwenda by 23-13 votes during polls on December 14 in Mangochi.
Meanwhile, former Fam acting general secretary, George Kaudza-Masina, said calling for the resignation of Fam president by some of the ex-Flames players was misplaced.
“Fam as an association is bigger than Nyamilandu as such there is no way government can attach its funding on a personality.
“Government funding of football is for the benefit of Malawians at large and the fear being put forward by the ex- Flames players does not hold water,” he said.
Masina said it was only Fam affiliates mandated to coordinate Nyamilandu’s exit at the association.
“It has to be noted that Nyamilandu’s exit at the FA can only be orchestrated by the affiliates and nobody else unless we are ready for Fifa’s whipping,” he said.
Masina believes the relationship between the pair would improve following their meeting last week.
“The ministers worry were justified and Nyamilandu did explain himself about the accusations. I should believe that at their one on one meeting they were able to reach a compromise and visible changes will be seen going forward. Let outsiders stop orchestrating and magnifying this issue for the good of our beautiful game. In Msungama and Nyamilandu, looks a very good combination to take our football to another level,” he said.
A lawyer and football analyst David Kanyenda told a local paper that Msungama’s remarks were against Fifa Statutes.