Prodigal Athletics Association of Malawi ‘sons’ forgiven
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has lifted the ban on Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) President Godfrey Phiri and General Secretary Frank Chitembeya after the pair issued a public and official apology.
Phiri and Chitembeya were banned from taking part in athletics activities after defying Sports Council’s advice to amend their body’s constitution.
In a statement released yesterday, MNCS Board Chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said that they received letters of apology from the two officials, hence the decision to reinstate them.
“Yesterday [Saturday], at the National cross-country event held in Mzuzu, the two former officials also apologised to the council.
“Noting that the two former officials have demonstrated remorse and that their apologies were unequivocal and contrite, the Malawi National Council of Sports has accepted their apologies and has, pursuant to its statutory authority to regulate and control sports in Malawi, lifted the ban it had imposed on them forthwith,” the statement reads.
In an interview, Madise said they lifted the ban and reinstated the executive committee after the pair appeared to be remorseful.
“We have accepted their apology and there was nothing personal about the standoff. We have to forgive and move forward. Let us now focus on developing the sport in the country,” he said.
On Saturday, Phiri and Chitembeya used the National Cross Country Championship in Mzuzu to apologise to MNCS for the recent standoff.
Chitembeya was first to issue an apology when he directed his speech at MNCS Board Vice Chairperson Charles Ulaya Banda and acting Executive Secretary Shephord Boma.
“We believe in ensuring that athletes are not disturbed and affected by squabbles. Athletics is a permanent entity; as exco, we found and will leave it. Therefore, we should let it thrive for the socio-economic development of the country. We choose not to be a burden on its development. Our recent behaviour was not good; kindly forgive us,” Chitembeya said.
Taking his turn, Phiri said they publicly apologised to MNCS for putting the sport in disrepute following careless talk in the media.
“We apologise for any inconveniences we caused through our reckless talk in the media to the council. We admit our mistakes and, just like the biblical prodigal son, we come back to you and ask for forgiveness.
“From this day on, AAM is also no longer divided into camps. We are now working together as members of one family and we will do everything as guided by the council,” he said.
The development is good for the sport as local athletes will not be barred from international competitions.