Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, says time is ripe for football to position itself as a viable economic industry to benefit the larger community.
Nyamilandu disclosed this after launching his manifesto dubbed ‘Raising the Bar’ at a colourful function held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre yesterday.
“It is now time for all stakeholders in the football value chain to reap real value from football and become self-sustainable. It is now time that football in Malawi should become a lucrative career where it creates wealth for players so that they have a brighter future,” he said.
In a 60-page manifesto, Nyamilandu, outlines his vision centering on integrity, discipline, passion and unity.
“We need vibrant youth football development programmes and structured grassroots football being played across Malawi. We also need a brand new national teams with systematic style of play and strong nursery youth teams. We have transitioned the national teams in both players as well as style of play,” he said.
Nyamilandu also called for stable administration, without political upheaval or turmoil.
“Our football has been administered in very robust and professional manner, with due respect to its statutes,” he said.
The FA boss believes his manifesto will woo affiliates to make informed choices when nominating and voting for candidates ahead of the association’s polls.
“The overall vision of the manifesto is to achieve technical excellence and sound tactical acumen that will build winning national teams which will consistently qualify to major international tournaments, underpinned by strong local football clubs that are playing in competitive leagues across the country, guided by a robust football philosophy that will yield high standard of play and produce world-class players, under the direction of a Football Association that is run professionally as a business entity thriving on increased revenue growth,” he said.
The manifesto prioritises rural areas which in the past were the lifeline of supply of excellent talent.
Among key interventions, the manifesto raises subventions to all affiliates by doubling their current funding to make the affiliates operate with a semblance of financial independence.
Nyamilandu also wants to transform affiliates from operating like “village entities” to start operating as professional bodies.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and the three regional football associations have each been given new offices for their operations.
Sulom has been given the MDC Stadium in Chilomoni Township together with the offices.
“This will increase their revenue base and reduce costs on rentals,” he said.
Southern Region Football Association to be housed at Chiwembe, Central Region Football Association to be housed at Mtandire Technical Centre while Northern is to be housed at Luwinga Technical Centre.
On women’s football, the manifesto promises to establish regional leagues and increase the number of female administrators in football. The manifesto also promises to provide a home for women’s football.
On beach soccer, the manifesto promises to establish Beach Soccer Summer Championships and establish Beach Soccer Mini Stadium.
“The aim is to scale up beach soccer from the lake shore areas to urban uplands,” he said.
Nyamilandu also said Fam will remove 10 percent gate allocation it gets after each top flight league game on understanding that clubs direct resources towards youth and women’s football.
The Fifa Council member, who has served three terms of four years each as Fam, is facing opposition from Fam First Vice President, James Mwenda, Karonga United Chairperson Alufeyo Chipanga and Balawala Vingula.
Some of the Fam affiliates that attended the launch included Austin Ajawa, Bernard Harawa, Antonio Manda (Central Region Football Association),
Sugzo Ngwira, Winnie Nyondo (National Women Football Association), Tiya Somba Banda, Zachariah Nyirenda, Malinda Chinyama, Chimwemwe Nyirenda (Super League Association of Malawi), Chimango Munthali (National Youth Football Association), Patrick Kapanga (National Referees Association), Stuart Mbolembole and Aubrey Nankhuni (National Coaches Association).
Deputy Minister of Defence Chipiliro Mpinganjira and former Malawi National Council of Sports Board Chairman James Chuma were among the guests.