FAM president Walter Nyamilandu on Thursday met South Africa-based Flames legends Ernest ‘Wire’ Mtawali and Patrick ‘General’ Mabedi to devise a good working relationship with the local football governing body.
The duo was in the country at the invitation of Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to grace Fifa president Gianni Infantino’s aborted visit on Wednesday.
In an interview through WhatsApp on Thursday, Nyamilandu said their discussion included appreciation of the duo’s acceptance to grace the Fifa president’s intended visit and continued collaboration to develop football in the country.
“We also discussed opportunities to advance their football careers and expose them to advanced training programmes, active role as legends and role models of Malawi football; sharing of best practices in coaching and forging a good working relationship with FAM,” he said.
Asked how they would device a good relationship when Mtawali has a defamation case in court against the association, the FAM president said: “The court issue shouldn’t be a stumbling block as long as there is a good working relationship. We agreed to bury the past and open a new chapter by looking into the future.”
Asked further if there are plans to rope them into FAM set up, Nyamilandu said: “There is no deliberate plan in place. The future will decide.
“We assured them that they will always be in our plans.”
In an interview yesterday, Mtawali described the meeting with the FAM president as fruitful.
“I would say fruitful in that we were sharing ideas on how we can take our football to another level. I think we do not necessarily have to be within the set up to contribute towards the development of our game.
“The FAM president has played football at a higher level… We played with him in the national team in the 1990s. So, he has knowledge about the game. So, it was more about what he expects from us and how we can positively forge ahead and we felt humbled that he [Nyamilandu] took time to invite us for such a meeting,” he said.
Asked if the issue of his court case was tackled, Mtawali said: “The issue of my court case was not on the agenda, but where both parties feel they can find a way and sort out issues amicably, then the better.”
In a tweet on Thursday, Nyamilandu said: “Spent quality time with the legends, Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi, who are also my contemporaries. We reminisced about the past , cracked a few jokes and shared ideas about how we can raise the bar.”
In November 2017 Mtawali won a case in which he sued FAM and its vice-president James Mwenda for defamation and he was awarded damages for libel.
The former Flames mentor was claiming general and special damages over broadcast and published articles, in which Mwenda, as the local soccer governing body’s technical subcommittee chairperson, alleged that the coach was fired due to “lack of planning and managerial skills and, to some extent, discipline”.
However, FAM appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the High Court ruling and judgement is yet to be passed.