Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu has described the death of the association’s former boss and ex-parliamentarian for Chikwawa West John Zingale as shocking and untimely.
Zingale, 51, succumbed to cerebral malaria at Mlambe Hospital in Blantyre Tuesday morning and is expected to be buried at his home village Chaphata in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chapananga in Chikwawa, according to his first-born son, Hastings.
However, Hastings said the family was still discussing funeral arrangements, including the date for burial.
“We are saddened and shocked by his demise. As FAM, we went to the hospital on Saturday to cheer him and see how we could help him. He was showing signs of recovery then and we did not think he could leave us this early,” said Nyamilandu.
“Zingale spent almost all his life in football, having been chairperson for the Southern Region Football League (SRFL), treasurer for Big Bullets and owner for the now defunct Super League side Gola United before becoming FAM president. He was also the one who started FAM’s Goal Project One at Chiwembe. His death is a big loss to Malawi football.”
Hubert Mfune, who was FAM treasurer during Zingale’s reign, said: “He has gone too soon before he could be praised for his success during his two years as FAM president. Under his leadership, the Flames qualified for Cosafa finals.”
George Kaudza-Masina, who was FAM acting GS during Zingale’s leadership, said: “He had great passion for the game and was a visionary leader, it is a big loss.”
Under Zingale’s leadership, Malawi also successfully hosted the Under-17 Cosafa tournament in 2001, which the Junior Flames won. At times, he co-funded national team programmes.
Bullets technical director Billy Tewesa said: “We are deeply shocked. Zingale was not only a football administrator and a politician; he was also a philanthropist who financially helped Bullets. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Zingale, who was born on September 9 1963, is survived by a wife and five children— three sons and two daughters. He was FAM’s acting president between 1998 and 2000 before being elected FAM boss for a two- year tenure until 2002. n