The circus surrounding the newly introduced sports association guidelines that Malawi National Council of Sports unveiled recently is set to take a new twist as Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has written world football governing body Fifa to seek advice and guidance.
This comes just two weeks after Sports Council unveiled the guidelines which, among others, limit terms of office for elected officials to two years and a bachelor’s degree qualification for national association presidents.
The government sports implementing agency gave all associations six months to ensure that their constitutions, regulations, policies and any such instruments are aligned with the guidelines.
Fam president Walter Nyamilandu said Friday the association is also expected to discuss the guidelines during its Annual General Meeting in December.
’’We have referred Sports Council’s guidelines to Fifa for direction and advice. The matter will thereafter be tabled at our General Assembly in December for discussion with our members who are owners of the statutes,’’ Nyamilandu said.
The new guidelines put some association leaders in a tight spot as they attempt to cling to their respective positions.
The guidelines’ maximum of two terms of office for association presidents is in conflict with Fam statutes which allow a maximum of three terms in line with Fifa statutes.
Fam also scrapped off academic qualifications for executive committee membership.
Sports Council Public Relations Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa was yet to respond to our questionnaire on the matter as we went to press.
Some associations have since asked for more time and resources to align their statutes with the guidelines.
The guidelines also put a minimum of a diploma for the position of general secretary.
Additionally, all associations are supposed to have strategic and implementation plans.
The associations are also required to submit audited accounts and hold general meetings every year.
However, some commentators have urged the associations to embrace the guidelines.
Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said Fam was justified to seek Fifa guidance.
“Fam is an interested party and its decision to seek guidance from Fifa cannot be faulted. Suffice to say that it could have been better if Fam and Sports Council could have come to a round table to clarify matters and agree where they could compromise.
’’Otherwise, the route Fam has taken is justified. However, Sports Council’s guidelines seem to be the way to go if sport is to improve in the country,” Kaudza-Masina said.
The guidelines are aimed at promoting the value of good governance and best practices in sport management and administration for the good of sport.
They also aim at assisting national sports associations and other stakeholders in appreciating and understanding the standards and conduct that are expected, respected and valued within the sports sector.