Football Association of Malawi (Fam) was not consulted nor did it give consent to the newly introduced Inter-Constituency tournaments which will be sponsored by a non-governmental organisation, Joyce Banda Foundation.
President Joyce Banda, who happens to be the founder, president and CEO of sponsors Joyce Banda Foundation, last week announced the introduction of the tournament, which will be contested by teams from the country's 193 constituencies.
When The Daily Times tried to find out on the details of the competition, Fam president Walter Nyamilandu said they were not consulted nor were they officially told of the competition.
Nyamilandu, who at tended the off icial announcement of the competition, refused to comment on the issue and referred the matter to Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and Joyce Banda Foundation International.
"I think these questions are better addressed by the Ministry of Sports and Joyce Banda Foundation because Fam has not yet been approached nor consulted on this matter," he said.
He could not explain why the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports
was involved in the football tournament introduction involving a non-governmental organisation.
He, however, acknowledged that normal procedure was that a sponsor first gets Fam's consent before announcing a competition.
"At this stage we are only aware of the announcement of sponsorship and not the modalities. I would be better placed to respond once we have received all the sponsorship details and its modus operandi," Nyamilandu said.
Barely a month ago, Fam announced that it would start licensing all individuals or organisations wishing to sponsor competitions.
The decision was reached at after Fam Annual General Meeting noted that there was no proper monitoring of competitions that start without the association's consent.
"It's very important that everyone who wants to start a competition should first get consent from Fam who are mandated by Fifa to run football in the country. It really concerns us when people just start competitions without Fam's consent. They involve clubs and players in competitions and at the end the day, don't honour their pledge at the end of the competition.
"We want everyone who wants to start a competition whether it is for a month or two months, to get a licence from us and sign a contract stipulating what will be at stake and as Fam we will help them run the competition by providing all the support they need," Nyamilandu had said after the AGM.
However, even if the Inter- Constituency tournaments get Fam's consent, it will put the football association on a collision course with Fifa who are strict on tournaments sponsored by politicians.
With just less than 18 months before the country holds Parliamentary and Presidential elections, Fam could be in trouble once Fifa deems the competitions as a campaign gimmick.
Some countries like Botswana got into trouble with Fifa after President Seletse Khama introduced such types of tournaments in 2008.
Nyamilandu said they could not comment on whether the association has the capacity to run tournaments in the country's 193 constituencies since they are yet to be officially informed on the modus operandi of the tournaments.
Fifa's Director of Member Associations and Development, Thierry Regenass discusses the many forms of football interference on Fifa website.
"Fifa has the mandate to control association football worldwide, in all its aspects. This mandate is delegated to the national association, to control association football at the national level. This is about managing, controlling and developing football as a game and also the organisation of the game in general.
"The associations have the obligation to do it on their own, in an autonomous way without outside interference, from the government or any other parties. In general, political interference is when a government tries to take direct control," Regenass explains in his presentation on government interference on Fifa website.
However, in such circumstances he says Fifa encourages a dialogue between government and associations so that when decisions are made both sides should be satisfied.
But Presidential press officer Brian Banda said Fam and Joyce Banda Foundation would meet to discuss the modalities of the competition.
"What has happened is that the President has announced the sponsorship of the competition. Our understanding is that Football Association of Malawi and Joyce Banda Foundation will sit down and discuss how best the competition can be run," he said.
On fears of inviting Fifa's wrath, Banda said they did not anticipate such problems.
"Such kind of competitions has been there before. MPs have been sponsoring such trophies, the President has just complemented by sponsoring the trophies at national level."