Nyasa Big Bullets risk a K500 000 fine and other sanctions if they continue using under-qualified Eliah Kananji as head coach, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has warned.
FAM has said the Carlsberg Cup final between Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe this Saturday, should be the last match for Kananji in that role.
Contrary to club licensing regulations that stipulate that a head coach for a Super League club must possess at least a Confederation of African Football (CAF) B licence, Bullets have been using the C licence holder following the absence of their coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan.
The Burundian tactician was suspended two months ago but at the end of the suspension, he opted to go away on holiday.
FAM club licensing manager Casper Jangale told The Nation yesterday that after the Carlsberg Cup final, Bullets will not be allowed to use Kananji.
“After the Carlsberg Cup final, Bullets are supposed to have a qualified coach as per club licencing requirement or they should be prepared to face the consequences. This is our last warning,” Jangale said.
Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga said they will take heed of the order.
He said: “We have taken note of the order and we are discussing internally to see how we can resolve the matter. We are weighing a number of options on who will take over. Soon we will make an official statement as regards our decision.
“This is really an urgent matter that will be sorted out with speed to avoid losing a lot of money and prestige through fines and sanctions.”
Chigoga added that the club is planning to reward Kananji with a special position considering “the good work he has done so far to improve the team’s performance.”
However, being allowed to be in charge of Bullets in the Carlsberg Cup final this weekend has given Kananji an opportunity to hunt for his fourth Carlsberg Cup glory as he is the first coach in history to win the cup thrice with different teams.
He won it in 2014 with Bullets before replicating the feat in 2015 and 2016 with Wanderers.
Since he took over as Bullets coach, the team has won a good number of games, including reaching the Carlsberg Cup final.
When Bullets suspended Ramadhan in June, the club had 11 points from seven TNM Super League games.
Under Kananji, Bullets have collected 17 points in eight league games.
Bullets are third on the 16-team log table, seven points behind leaders Wanderers and five points adrift of second-placed Silver Strikers.
On his part, Kananji said he will accept whatever decision Bullets would make regarding his role in the team.
He also said the talk about him being underqualified will not affect his mission of achieving glory this Saturday.
He said: “Actually, I am not losing sleep over this issue. I am concetrating on the Saturday cup final against Wanderers.”n