The Anti-Corruption Bureau’s decision to halt regional football association elections and further nullify the nomination process is ultra vires and a complete interference by a Government Institution into football matters which is against FIFA statutes, Football Association of Malawi says.
The scathing criticism comes nearly a fortnight after ACB lifted the restrictions on the nomination process and holding of regional FA elections issued in December last year.
“FAM submits that the ACB’s exercise of power to stop an election and further nullify the nomination process that is governed by clear internal rules is ultra vires and a complete interference by a Government Institution (in this case ACB) into football matters which is against FIFA statutes particularly Article 17 of FIFA Constitution which clearly states that members of FIFA shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” FAM General Secretary Alfred Gunda said in a statement.
The country’s football governing body argues that ACB move to halt elections for Regional Football Associations was an anomaly that should not have happened and should never happen in football, because the graft bursting body has no jurisdiction over matters concerning organizations that are associational in nature.
“This is also the case for similar organizations for instance; churches, clubs, associations and professional bodies where ACB doesn’t have jurisdiction to interrogate how these organizations conduct their elections let alone issue directives on how these organizations should conduct their elections and any day to day business,” reads the statement.
ACB findings as released two weeks ago, stated that District Football Associations did not convene or if they did such meetings were improperly convened, incumbent regional FA office bearers influenced the nomination process by sidelining eligible non regional committee members, nomination forms had forged signatures and that there were not set guidelines for the conduct of free and fair nomination.
However, FAM claims the findings lack details, supporting evidence and particulars of the alleged forgery or malpractices in respect to the nomination process.
The statement says; “FAM is of the view that ACB could have expressly stated the District Football Associations which did not convene meetings, the current Members of the Regional Football Association who influenced the nomination process and also the particular members who disowned their signatures on the nomination forms and lastly the members who forged the nomination forms.
The findings do not specify the breach to the specific provisions of the Regional Football Association Statutes and also the District Football Association Statutes.”
Additionally, the statement from the country’s FA punched holes into the recommendations ACB made as regard how the nomination process and regional FA elections should be conducted going forward.
Citing Section 10 (4) of the Corrupt Practices Act, the statement stated that FAM as an organization has the right to follow ACB recommendations or explain why a recommendation will not be followed.
“FAM would like to bring to your attention that under the Malawi National Council of Sports Act, MNSC main function is to develop, promote, encourage and control all forms of sport in Malawi on a National Basis.
“Further, FAM is an affiliate of MNCS hence in the football structure FAM has mandate over Regional Football Associations affairs as its affiliate which trickles down to the Regional Football Associations having mandate over the District Football Associations as their affiliates.
In this football structure, it will be absurd for MNCS to regulate and participate in the electoral process for Regional Football Associations and even worse nominations done by District Football Associations,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Regional Football Associations have been given ten days to submit fresh nominations to FAM as a returning officer.
FAM will then proceed to act as a returning officer and oversee the election process and if need be engage MMCS as an observer.