Flames new expatriate coach Tom Saintfeit has said his coaching career in Africa has been overshadowed by bad luck and not necessarily underperformance.
Saintfeit said this when the Football Association in Malawi (FAM) unveiled him as Flames caretaker coach on Tuesday at Civo Stadium in the capital, Lilongwe.
The 40-year-old Belgian, who was in the company of FAM vice-president Moses Mkandawire, general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda and assistant coach Eddington Ng’onamo, said the local press has portrayed him as a failure, which he said is contrary to the truth.
“I have been generally successful with the teams I have coached. But reasons beyond football and my control have frustrated my work in Africa,” he said.
On March 28 last year, Saintfiet was named technical director (TD) of Nigeria, but three months later the Minister of Sports cancelled his appointment because they did not want a foreign coach anymore.
Saintfeit said the termination of his contract by Nigerian is an extra motivation for him to see Flames boot Super Eagles out of the World Cup qualifiers.
“Of course, I am still hurt, but I am professional. I do not let emotions guide me, but surely I am more motivated. I believe Malawi has capacity to beat Nigeria. We just need to have a proper strategy,” said Saintfiet who is banking on his experience with the Ethiopian national team in 2011.