Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu will face Willy Yabwanya Phiri in the battle for the association’s presidency when FAM goes to polls on 12 December this year.
Nyamilandu, who is seeking a fourth term in office, got 7 nominations from the 9 associations affiliated to FAM with National Referees Committee (NRC) nominating Yabwanya Phiri making him the only candidate to face Nyamilandu.
The incumbent got his nominations from National Youth Development Committee (NYDC), Southern Region Football Association (SRFA), Central Region Football Association (CRFA), Northern Region Football Association (NRFA), Coaches Association of Malawi and Beach Soccer Malawi.
However, rumours have it that Super League of Malawi (Sulom) did not nominate any presidential aspirant for the polls.
This means that all the aspiring candidates apart from Yabwanya Phiri and Nyamilandu have failed to get nominations from affiliates, making it a two horse race.
Wilkins Mijiga, Ali Mwachande, Boniface Maganga, Owen Chomanika and Gift Mwakhwawa were vying for the top position at the country’s soccer governing body but failed to get a nomination.
Nyamilandu’s decision to seek a fourth term has angered many soccer followers saying it’s not on for the former Mighty Wanderers defender to cling on to power as if he is the only person who can run football in Malawi.
His opponent on the day told the local press that he is ready to face Nyamilandu.
“I don’t care about his dominance. It doesn’t bother me a bit. In fact, I am more than ready to challenge him and change Malawian football,” he said.
However, Nyamilandu says his dominance is a step forward in returning the seat he has kept for the past 12 years.
“It’s early days and this is just a head start. The race has just started and we won’t rest until the battle is won,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of the aspiring candidates who have failed to get a nomination to stand for the presidency have vowed to force Nyamilandu to step down before the polling day.
Reliable sources have confided with Malawi24 that they are organizing demonstrations across the country and will show their anger during Sunday’s Standard Bank Knockout Cup final between Civo Service United and Mighty Wanderers in Lilongwe.
It has been reported that meetings are currently underway to try and force Nyamilandu to withdraw from the race saying failure to do so will only hamper Malawi’s football development.
A fortnight ago, football fans at Kamuzu Stadium raised a banner in which they protested against Nyamilandu’s fourth term bid and the incumbent had to send bouncers to remove the message.
This year’s polls will take place in Salima. Some of the notable faces to have been nominated by the affiliates to contest in different positions are James Mwenda, Othaniel Hara, Rashid Mtelera, Tiya Somba Banda and Daud Mtanthiko.
If Nyamilandu wins, it might be his final term as FAM president following FIFA’s new reforms on elections and terms of members of the body and presidential term limits.
The FIFA Reform Committee resolved that no FIFA or any football association president should stay in office for more than 12 years. The Reforms will be approved in February by all members affiliated to the world football governing body.