Sports

To be or not to be?

Walter Nyamilandu coy on candidature

David Kanyenda

With about three months to go before Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) elections, incumbent President Walter Nyamilandu continues to keep people guessing on his intentions to seek re-election.

Nyamilandu told a media conference at Chiwembe Technical Centre last year that he would not contest for the hot seat only to change early this year, saying he would announce his decision on whether to stand or not.

But the Fam boss is yet to state his position and keeps people guessing as to what his decision would be.

As if testing the waters, Nyamilandu has been involved in various activities that seem to suggest his desire to run for another term.

Only last week, the Fifa Council Member launched his academy at Chiwembe during a ceremony attended by both Fam affiliates and government officials.

And in a move that could remove any doubts about Nyamilandu’s intentions, former Be Forward Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda addressed a press conference at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre declaring that Nyamilandu was eligible for reelection.

Kanyenda, a lawyer by profession, said Fifa statutes allow Nyamilandu to stand for three more terms of four years each.

“There is no statutory provision barring the Fam President from contesting. But the issue is that he needs to make his position clear on whether he is contesting or not,” he said.

Kanyenda said in 2015, Fifa unanimously approved introduction of maximum term limits of three terms of four years for the President as well as all members of the Fifa Council, Audit and Compliance committee and judicial bodies.

“Previously, a Fifa President and or presidents of its member national associations could hold office infinitely provided they were re-elected. However, Fifa amended its statutes, limiting the terms of office to three terms of four years whether consecutive or not. Accordingly, a person can hold office as Fifa President for a maximum of 12 years. In accordance with article 29 of the Fifa statutes, decisions passed by the Congress shall come into effect for the members 60 days after the close of Congress, unless Congress fixes another date for a decision to take effect,” he said.

Kanyenda also clarified that no limitation would apply retroactively.

“Last December, Fam approved a draft of reforms initiated by Fifa including, but not limited to, the introduction of term limits. Article 32 of the Fam Statutes expressly provides that decisions passed by the General Assembly shall come into effect for the affiliates the day after they have been adopted, unless the General Assembly or these statutes fixes another date for a decision to take effect provided that such decisions shall not apply retrospectively,” he said.

Kanyenda said the term limits would only affect existing members after the expiry of their current terms.

“Previous terms of office shall not and cannot be taken into account in determining the number of terms. Any person can now serve three terms of four years or 12 years regardless of any previous terms they served,” he said.

When contacted on the matter, Nyamilandu only said he would state his position soon.

“It is a positive development that a legal expert has come in to clarify eligibility of all candidates ahead of our elective assembly in December. It clears the confusion that was there because of misunderstandings since the amended Fifa statutes which Fam adopted will be used for the first time.

“Personally, I am satisfied that the legal statement clears my eligibility. It will help me to make an informed decision. A lot of people have been anxious to know where I stand and I will make my position clear in the next few days,” he said.

Jules Rimet is Fifa’s longest serving President and was in office for 33 years from 1921 and 1954 whereas Sepp Blatter served 5 terms dating back to 1998 until 2015 clocking 17 years in office.

His predecessor Joao Havelange was in office for 24 years from 1974 to 1998.

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