Malawi national football team coach Kinnah Phiri and his assistant Young Chimodzi have threatened not to travel to Ghana for next weekendâ€™s crucial 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final round first leg, arguing their contracts are not finalised.
The bone of contention is a clean-wage used in the contracts which they are yet to sign.
Malawi government and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) are facing a race against time to finalise the contracts as the Flames are scheduled to leave for Liberia on Sunday en route for Ghana.
Kinnah, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu and Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chakufwa Chihana confirmed the development on Thursday.
Said Kinnah: “It is now two months since our contracts expired and we are yet to finalise new deals.
“Apparently, the process has been delayed because government withdrew some benefits from the contracts and we were reluctant to put pen to paper. So, our position is that unless the issue is addressed, we will not travel to Ghana. We have made our position very clear to FAM.”
He said their hope is that both FAM and the ministry will intervene on the matter.
But Kinnah could not be drawn to disclose the benefits he was referring to, but according to The Nationâ€™s findings, the two coaches are not happy with a clean wage bill that has been offered to them.
Nyamilandu described the development as unfortunate.
“They [national coaches] have not been paid since their contracts expired in June and they are now fed up because we seem not to be taking the issue seriously on our side.
“However, we have asked them to persevere as we explore other avenues,” said Nyamilandu.
He said the issue is in the hands of the Human Resource Department.
“I understand their position because they have been very patient. They have been asking for loans from the association for their upkeep, unfortunately we have been unable to fulfil their request due to lack of funding.
“However, we have taken up the issue with the minister [Chihana] who has assured us that he will pursue the matter vigorously before the end of the week,” said Nyamilandu.
Chihana on Thursday confirmed the stalemate between the and blamed it on government bureaucracy.
“I have taken up the matter with the relevant authorities and I have asked that the benefits that were withdrawn be put back.
“From what I have gathered, they were offered a clean wage bill and they were not happy because the package was on the lower side. The problem is that expatriates get better benefits than our own people.
“So, I have instructed that the benefits should not be removed and we hope to get to the bottom of the issue before the team leaves on Sunday,” said Chihana.
has established that Kinnah, Chimodzi and Chamangwana have been offered a K100 000 (about $400) pay increase each in the new contracts which they are yet to sign.