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James Mwenda kicked out

By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has dissolved the 2019 Cosafa Under-17 Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) just one month before the kickoff of the tournament in Blantyre.

The competition is scheduled to run from September 25 to October 4.

The LOC was headed by Fam Vice President James Mwenda.

But Mwenda, who has declared his interest in contesting for the association’s top job in December 2019, has been replaced by Jabbar Alide as the chairperson of the organising committee with Daud Ntathiko as his deputy.

Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, confirmed the changes in a statement saying the development normalises the mandate of organising football competitions under the association’s Competitions Committee consistent with statutes.

Fam has delegated powers of LOC to the compétition’s committee which Alide heads.

“There was a Local Organising Committee but at its first meeting some weeks ago, it was resolved that its membership should be revised. It is in this regard that a decision has been made that Competitions Committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Alide takes over LOC duties,” Gunda says.

“Mr. Tiya Somba Banda and Mr. Chimango Munthali have, henceforth, been co-opted as members of LOC by virtue of being leaders of the elite Super League and Youth League respectively. The committee also includes ex-officio members from the Ministry of Sports, Malawi National Council of Sports, Malawi Police [Service] and Blantyre City Assembly. The changes do not affect the various sub-committees that have recently been appointed to assist with the administration of the tournament.”

Fam statutes give the association’s president [Walter Nyamilandu] powers to appoint any person in the committee. Nyamilandu is undecided on whether to contests again for the presidency.

Other LOC members include Super League of Malawi General Secretary Williams Banda, Northern Region Football Association chairperson Lameck Khonje, his Central Region Football Association counterpart Austin Ajawa and Fam Executive Committee member Daud Suleman.

But Mwenda, who is also Cosafa Competitions Committee member, said he was not bitter with his exclusion.

“I am not bitter and I wish the committee all the best. I am still the vice president of the association, so they would be reporting to us. The president of Fam is the appointing authority and I do not know the exact reasons behind the changes,” Mwenda said.

By hosting the tournament, Fam would be responsible for production of entry match tickets and all proceeds will go to the association. Mauritius hosted the previous two editions in 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, Malawi won bronze but last year failed to reach the semi-finals.

Malawi last hosted the regional youth championship in 2001 and won gold after beating South Africa 4-1.

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