The Verdict: Halfway through Walter Nyamilandu’s ‘harvest’ term

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Tuesday December 12, marked exactly 2 years since Walter Nyamilandu was re-elected President of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).

It was in 2015, at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, where Nyamilandu retained his position after beating Canada based Willy Yabwanya Phiri and renowned marketer Wilkins Mijiga.

Walter Nyamilandu

It’s been 2 years since Walter Nyamilandu was re-elected.

The polls were never short of controversy, as Mijiga and Yabwanya obtained a court injunction to stop the whole process but the injunction was later vacated allowing the elections to proceed later in the night.

Nyamilandu triumphed with a landslide victory, after scooping 27 votes against Mijiga and Yabwanya’s 7 and 2 votes respectively.

His manifesto themed “Time for Harvest” touched on several crucial issues among them professionalization and commercialisation of the game and improving player welfare among others.

He vowed to raise the value of the game by hiking the gate charges to at least 5 US dollars for an international match and 3 US dollars for a super league fixture.

Halfway through his 4 year mandate, veteran soccer pundits Humphrey Mvula and Charles Nyirenda take turns to critically analyse the highs and lows of the Nyamilandu led administration

Humpreys Mvula

Mvula: There is still work in progress.

“There is still work in progress. I think the harvesting hasn’t started yet. They talked of building the national team but until now there is no coherent strategy in identifying and retaining talent at the junior and senior levels,” said Mvula.

He added that: “Since the arrival of Belgian gaffer Ron Van Geneugden as head coach for all national teams this year, over 100 players have been tried at senior level and yet Malawi still has no team to reckon with or no players to retain and groom for the future.”

Mvula also decried the absence of proper development   structures for players and coaches from national level down to the clubs.

The former Be Forward Wanderers Chairperson however pointed out some of the positives achieved in Nyamilandu’s two years.

“In sourcing money from FIFA and building that kind of capacity, they have done well. They have also maintained public and sponsors trust in the running of competitions. Generally they have maintained the peace and harmony in the world of football. So I would say in non-technical issues they have done well, but in technical issues where results count more, they still have a lot of work to do,” concluded Mvula.

Nyirenda, a former FAM general secretary himself described Nyamilandu and his team’s performance as around average.

“There is no strategic plan that FAM has unveiled to anybody, so judging by the manifesto, the performance has been around average. The national team has not performed well, and there seem to be underlying problems between FAM and the Super league of Malawi (SULOM) which produces national team players. Their working relationship seems non-existent which is not healthy for the game.”

Nyirenda then punched holes in the youth development system citing age cheating as the major problem.

“Just on Monday, our under20 national team got bundled out of the Cosafa tournament in Zambia, of course undefeated. But we all know most of those players are over aged. That’s a problem,” added Nyirenda.

He also faulted the administration for the criteria used in identifying coaches attached to the national team.

The lapse in gate management, which has resulted in rampant gate fraud was not spared by Nyirenda.

In his further analysis, the self-acclaimed grandmaster went on to bemoan the failure to professionalise the super league.

Nyamilandu and his crew have two years left on their tenure and it’s not yet clear whether the former Nchalo United, University fc and Wanderers defender will seek re-election.

He has led the FA since 2003.

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8 Comments

  1. The Football Of Malawi Is Going Lower & Lower With 93.5%, So It Means We Haven’t A Good Leadership. We Must Think Twice If We Want To Have Another Selection Of FAM President And All Body Members Again.

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