FAM has admitted the controversy surrounding the firing of the Flames coaching panel has the potential to affect the team’s preparations for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifier against Namibia.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said this in the wake of government’s announcement that the association cannot engage an interim coach until the issue of the fired coaching panel is resolved.
“The issue is dragging and already we have lost a chance to play an international friendly match against Zimbabwe on February 6, which is a Fifa calendar date, due to the uncertainty surrounding the coaching panel,” said Nyirenda.
However, the FAM CEO stated that they will have a clear direction after today’s meeting with officials from the ministry as well as Sports Council that will also be attended by the fired coaching panel.
“Our position regarding the firing of the coaching panel has not changed, but at this point, we would not want to talk much until after the outcome of the Monday [today] meeting,” said Nyirenda.
Flames stand-in captain Moses Chavula also fears that the controversy could affect their preparations.
“We hope the issue will be sorted out as soon as possible,” said Chavula.
But football commentator George Kaudza-Masina suspected that FAM might have lost the plot by firing the coaches without approaching government.
“Before the coaching panel was fired, the nation was made to believe FAM would have a meeting with officials from government and Sports Council to determine the way forward and before that meeting was held, the association recommended the firing of the coaches,” said Kaudza-Masina, a former FAM executive member.
According to our sister paper Weekend Nation, Kinnah Phiri alone stands to earn in excess of K18 million if the decision to terminate his contract is endorsed.
Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana said the meeting has been called to give Kinnah and his backroom staff a chance to be heard as is provided in the Employment Act.
Last week, the minister said while the responsibility of hiring or firing a national coach rests in the hands of FAM, there are other procedures that need to be followed, hence the move to seek the Attorney General’s advice.