Fifa President, Gianni Infantino is expected to visit the country next week Wednesday to inspect the body’s Forward 2.0 project.
Some quarters have questioned the timing of the trip as it comes at a time Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is set to go to polls next month on the 14th.
Fam President, Walter Nyamilandu, who is seeking a fifth term, is considered as one of Infantino’s blue eyed boys following his rise to Fifa Council Member.
In a letter dated 14th November addressed to Nyamilandu a Fifa Council Member, Infantino said he was looking forward to meeting the members of Malawian Football Community and the government officials.
“It will be a unique opportunity to visit the various infrastructure projects carried out, to share our vision of football and the ways to further develop our game in your country and promote its values. I have no doubt this visit will strengthen our ties and enable us to continue working together to accomplish these objectives,” Infantino says in his later.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam), Chief Executive Officer, Alfred Gunda confirmed the development saying Infantino’s visit to Malawi was part of his tour of Africa which will see him visiting other countries such as Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
He said Infantino will inspect Fifa funded projects and also officially open Mpira Village Stadium.
“This is a special visit because it will be his first time to be in Malawi. We are privileged that through his visit he will appreciate various football developments that have happened so far [in Malawi] and also share future plans of Malawi football development,” he said.
Meanwhile, soccer pundit, Kelvin Moyo has urged Fam, to take advantage of Infantino’s to lobby for more support especially in technical area.
“I believe that Fam has done enough on Fifa Goal Project One and Two which were much into infrastructure. Fam should consider asking Fifa to help us in technical aspects,” said the Nyasa Big Bullets official.
However, another pundit, George Chiusiwa, said Infantino’s visit should not be politicised in any fashion. “Visiting Malawi ahead of the December 14 Fam elections some quarters would deem the visit as one to influence the polls. It’s naive and myopic for any camp to politicise this visit. People may be raising eye blows because the incumbent Fam President [Nyamilandu] has been talking about his Fifa Council Member position as an edge over other in the run up to the polls. But he has been misleading the football public. Infantino is mandated to lead football globally and he is not visiting Malawi alone during this Africa tour. If anything, his visit should be a huge opportunity to Malawi football as the domestic football leaders invited to interact with the Fifa boss have a chance to bring to the attention of Fifa the many problems we are facing in the game,” he said.
Chiusiwa said local football stakeholders can engage the Fifa leadership on the questionable implementation of football projects bankrolled by the global body.
“Fam reports to Fifa alone are not enough for such reports can be doctored. We have unfinished football projects, suspicious accountability issues on Fifa money, poor engagement of Fam with member associations on Fifa projects and general corporate governance issues in our football. The Infantino visit provides a platform for Malawians to engage Fifa on these systemic governance failures in our football,” he said.
This would be the second visit of a Fifa President to Malawi as the body’s former boss Sepp Blatter also visited Malawi in 2002.