Forward ever backward never. Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Bottomani has ruled out the possibility of reconsidering his decision not to seek re-election when the flagship football league goes to the polls next year.
Responding to a question on whether he won’t be tempted to change his tune as has been the case with other football leaders, notably Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, the Sulom boss said: “There is no turning back. Two terms are enough for me, I have done my part and let others take over the mantle.
“There are many football administrators that have the potential to do even better than me. I have reaffirmed my stand to give affiliates ample time to look for prospective candidates.”
The ice-cool Sulom president also said his decision should not be seen as a sign of failure, “but rather knowing the right time to leave the stage”.
Bottomani also said he will not impose any candidate on the affiliates.
“Grooming someone is sometimes seen as imposing a candidate on the affiliates and I will not take that path. Let them choose someone whom they feel can help advance the interests of the league,” he said.
He also dismissed mounting speculations that he is eyeing the FAM presidency, saying: “That’s not true.”
A football analyst George Kaudza Masina has hailed Bottomani’s move to reaffirm his stance, saying: “It is good news because the more you stay, the more you become obsolete.
“In these elected positions, when you are coming in you always have an agenda to fulfil.
“It’s either he feels he has accomplished his mission or he knows that even if he stays forever, he won’t do anything better than what he has already done. Even a good dancer knows when to leave the stage and as such, Bottomani’s decision is highly welcomed and commended.
“Before Bottomani there were other good and able leaders at Sulom and, hopefully, the same will happen after his tenure,” he said.
Bottomani first became Sulom president in 2009 and was re-elected three years later.
The Sulom president unveiled an ambitious manifesto prior to his current term dubbed ‘Turning Super League football into a business entity’ which highlighed changes in administrative structures of clubs, negotiating change of policy on the level of levies ground owners deduct, bringing live television coverage of matches, management of broadcasting rights, acquiring a home for Sulom and introducing lottery..
Of these, Bottomani’s administration has so far succeeded in changing clubs’ administrative structures and bringing live television coverage of games, which, however, fell by the way side after Beta TV failed to sustain it. n