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John Zingale’s legacy shall be treasured

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The legacy of former Fam president John Zingale, whose body was interred on Thursday at his home Changoima in Chikwawa District, needs to be treasured.

Zingale was elected Fam president on August 4, 2001, and resigned from the position on August 4, 2003. It is ironical that he also walked the last mile on August 4, 2015.

However, the two years he served as a Fam president, Zingale transformed Malawi football and left a legacy which the incumbent Walter Nyamilandu inherited.

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Zingale was the one who negotiated with Fifa to bring Goal Project One at Chiwembe Technical and Development Centre. The project involved construction of hostels on condition that with good administration Fam would be offered subsequent phases.

After Zingale resigned from Fam, Nyamilandu took over the mantle and fortunately he treasured the legacy he inherited. No wonder Fam managed to have a second phase of the Goal Project, which involved construction of office blocks, cafeteria and a gym at Chiwembe.

Then came the third phase which was construction of Mzuzu Technical and Development Centre and also the fourth one which was erecting of artificial turf at Chiwembe.

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Currently there is a fifth phase which involves building of another technical and development centre in Lilongwe. The project is expected to kick start soon.

At 38, Zingale had already laid a solid foundation for Malawi football. In 2002, during his tenure of office, Malawi reached the Cosafa Cup final and lost to South Africa. Malawi hosted and won the Cosafa Under-17 tournament.

While inspired by his predecessor, Nyamilandu managed to take the Flames to the 2010 Africa Nations Cup finals in Angola while the Under-17 qualified for the World Cup finals. This is why it can be argued that Zingale set the standards for Malawi football and deserved respect from the country’s football mother body.

Fam should, therefore, be commended for taking full control of the funeral of the former president despite quitting football 12 years ago.

Zingale was someone who made us all believe that in life everything is possible. He made the Malawi nation find immense pride in its identity. His death is a big loss not only to the family but whole football fraternity.

I have had an opportunity to meet football administrators from all over the world but I have never met someone so humble like Zingale.

His works spoke volumes of legendary and heroic stature. May his soul rest in eternal peace!!

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