Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu says his defeat to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick for the FIFA Council member seat was inevitable as he was racing against powerful forces in Africa’s football associations.
The country’s soccer governing boss was speaking upon arrival at Chileka International Airport on Monday afternoon from Rabat, Morocco where the Caf General Assembly was held.
Nyamilandu lost 43 votes to 3 to the Nigerian who is now occupying the seat for the Anglophone bloc.
But speaking to the media, Nyamilandu said he lost his seat because he belonged to the wrong side of the coin as there was just too much opposition against his candidature.
“I am not downcast, I am not defeated because I know that though I lost, I was the best candidate. I only lost because I was in the wrong side but in terms of display, performance, presentation, experience and profile, I was by far the best candidate and FIFA accepted, everybody accepted but that’s how politics is played, it didn’t go according to my plans and I accept the outcome, I congratulate Pinnick from Nigeria for taking the seat from me.
“I would also like to congratulate Patrice Motsepe for becoming the new CAF President. There is now a new leadership and we will support him to develop football in the continent and the whole world. I am proud for who I am. I am sure I have opened doors for other Malawians to aspire for greatness in other positions because we can achieve more if we dream big,” he told the mammoth crowd that came to welcome him at the airport.
With the seat gone, Nyamilandu will now focus his attention towards football resumption after weeks of negotiating with government for a waiver.
He has also promised to give full support to the Malawi National Football team which has two crucial back to back 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Sudan and Uganda next week.
Nyamilandu won the FIFA Council member seat in 2018 when he replaced the Ghanaian Kwesi Nyantakyi who was forced to resign after being accused of receiving bribes.
During the 2018 polls, he defeated South Africa’s Danny Jordaan by 35 votes to 18 and he became the first Malawian to own a seat in the world football governing Council.