Willy Yabwanya Phiri, one of the presidential candidates to the just ended disputed and controversial Football Association of Malawi (FAM) elections has hinted that he will seek Court of Arbitration for Sports’ (CAS) intervention in Switzerland over what he calls illegal polls which re-elected failed President Walter Nyamilandu.
The development comes barely two days after FAM continued holding the election despite Yabwanya and Wilkins Mijiga successfully sought FAM Appeal Committee’s intervention stopping the elections only for Blantyre High Court to vacate the injunction and force the voting which the two did not attend.
Yabwanya has confirmed his intentions to seek CAS’ intervention in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post on Monday, December 14 at his base in the capital Lilongwe. Many observers and social media have also called in question the results of the re-election of the failed President Walter Nyamilandu
Yabwanya insisted that the elections were illegal considering that elections committee flouted FAM’s Appeal Committee of stopping the polls to instead rectifying anomalies which the two raised in front of the committee to work on, the association chose to go ahead with the elections thereby assuring the result it got.
He said together with Mijiga did not contravene FIFA’s regulations as other soccer commentators are putting saying the court injunction came into being after the elections committee disobeyed FAM’s Appeal Committee decision of stopping the elections.
“We are going to take this matter to the Court of Arbitration in Zurich. We can’t allow a body which breaks its own laws by disobeying the decision of its own Appeal Committee. In our understanding the Appeal Committee was final but the elections committee thought otherwise.
“We still feel that the elections were illegal and unacceptable which only witnessed one presidential candidate participating while the rest not taking part. Was it for one man show or for all of us?” wondered Yabwanya.
On whether seeking CAS’ intervention will change anything on the elections results considering that FAM has its leader in place, Yabwanya emphasized the need for soccer lovers to understand well the rules and regulations of the football when some laws are flouted.
“We want CAS’ to give the remedy on FAM’s flouting it’s on Appeals Committee which is the highest court of football in the country. Our court intervention came into being when we noticed that elections committee wanted to go ahead with the polls, a move which wasn’t health at all in as far as management of football was concerned.
“We didn’t commit any crime as far as soccer laws are concerned though other misguided individuals are threatening that FAM should take us to task over what we did. Such approach is uncalled for and unacceptable”, charges Yabwanya.
Yabwanya and Mijiga sought the Appeal Committee’s intervention in respect of Article 13 of the code that states that, “the final list of candidates shall be sent to all affiliates of FAM general assembly and where necessary to relevant government bodies no less than 15 days before the elective FAM general assembly is held”, but FAM released the voters’ roll on Thursday, December 10, just three day before the elections were held on December 12.
However, Yabwanya and Mijiga seeking remedy from CAS might face a challenge considering that the FAM penal code add that, “FAM shall have jurisdiction on internal national disputes, i.e. disputes between parties belonging to FAM. FIFA shall have jurisdiction on international dispute meaning that dispute between parties belonging to different associations or confederation which is not the case right now.