Malawi government has changed its tune on the fate of Flames coaching panel by throwing the ball into Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Sports Council’s court.
Malawi’s Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana recently told Parliament that the future of the Kinnah Phiri-led coaching panel would be determined by the team’s performance at the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup.
The Flames put up a sterile performance at the East and Central African showpiece in Kampala, Uganda where they lost 1-0 to Kenya’s Harambee Stars in the quarter-finals.
Chihana was taken to task by fellow parliamentarians over the team’s pathetic showing following the team’s 2-0 loss to Rwanda’s Amabvubi in their first game.
But the minister on Thursday said the future of the coaching panel will now be determined by FAM and the council.
“Should they decide to give the coach and his backroom staff the benefit of the doubt, then we will just follow that because they are the technocrats. We would not want a situation whereby we are seen to be imposing a decision on them. As government, we are just policy-makers,” said Chihana.
But he reiterated that government is not impressed with the team’s recent performance.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu confirmed that they are planning to meet with the council and the ministry to jointly review the situation.
“It will have to be a joint decision because Malawi Government is a key partner being the sponsor in the employment of the senior technical officials of the national team,” said Nyamilandu.
Nyamilandu also said while they are addressing the technical panel, the issue of preparations and players’ welfare will also be looked into.
Seasoned tactician Yasin Osman said the issue of Flames’ performance needs a holistic approach.
“We should not focus on the coaches alone. The technical panel is just part of the equation. There is need for the soccer fraternity, including FAM and government, to bang heads and identify causes rather than concentrate on the coaches alone.
“I am not trying to defend the coaches, but we need to critically examine the situation and look at other issues such as the performance of our players; does the team get the necessary support to help it prepare adequately? How about the issue of player incentives? And then are our coaches tactically up to scratch?” said the former Flames striker and coach as well as ex-FAM chief executive officer.