Sports Council of Malawi has said all the three former national soccer team coaching panel members, including Kinnah Phiri, have finally reported for work.
The trio, that also include former deputy national coach Young Chimodzi and ex-technical adviser Jack Chamangwana, were redeployed by government to Regional Sports Offices of the Malawi National Council of Sports as regional coaches.
However, the council’s executive secretary George Jana told Nation on Sunday that despite the development, the challenge is that his office has no control over the trio as government was yet to come up with guidelines.
“I can confirm that all the three coaches have now reported for work and they have created their plans, but what remains is to give them resources to implement those plans.
“The other challenge is that, officially, we are not aware of the kind of responsibilities they are supposed to undertake.
“So, until government comes out clearly with the specifics, we have no control over them. It requires that they outline to us how they [government] expect the coaches to operate. I am talking about clarification on things such as who is responsible for what over them,” said Jana.
However, principal secretary II in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports Justin Saidi said the issue was being worked on.
“We are planning to meet Sports Council by this weekend to outline the trio’s terms of reference and, thereafter, we’ll meet the three coaches to inform them their of tasks and our expectations,” he said.
However, Saidi said their main task will be to develop football from the grass roots by arranging special programmes in schools and communities.
He dismissed suggestions that the regional coaches will be duplicating roles with the FAM technical director (TD).
“Not at all. If anything, the regional coaches will only be complementing the FAM TD’s roles because they will be in the field full-time unlike the TD who has to go there for specific tasks.
“In fact, the regional coaches will also be helping the national coach by, among other things, being involved in the identification and training of promising players, who in turn can be recommended to national teams,” said Saidi.
Asked if this, therefore, translates to demotion as they will be required to recommend players to the national coach, Saidi said: “When government came up with this arrangement, it was not looked at in that way [as a demotion].
“We redeployed them following FAM’s decision to remove them from the national team coaching panel and it is at the discretion of government to redeploy its employees. These are our employees.”
All the three coaches confirmed that while they had reported for work, they were still waiting for the terms of reference from government.
Said Kinnah: “I can confirm that I have taken up my new post as regional coach for the North and I am here in Mzuzu.
“However, I am yet to get down to work as I have not been informed of the specific tasks that government expects me to undertake. Nevertheless, I am ready and looking forward to the new challenge.”
Asked if he did not view his reallocation as a demotion, the celebrated former Flames coach and player chuckled and said: “No, I do not see it that way because everything that was offered in the contract is intact. What has changed is only the position. I look at it as a new challenge as I will experience the other part of coaching that involves developing talent from the grass roots.”
This was a dramatic change of heart on his part, having been quoted by Nation on Sunday soon after the decision to redeploy him that he would consult his lawyers and then map the way forward.
“I will have to seek advice from my lawyers and then map the way forward because I was employed as national coach. So, based on that, I cannot say whether or not I have accepted the relocation,” Kinnah said then.
On his part Chimodzi said: “I reported for work a couple of weeks ago and I am looking forward to the new challenges. However, the only drawback is that I am yet to be informed of the guidelines by the authorities.”
Chamangwana, who reported for duties much earlier than the other two, also said he is still waiting for resources and guidelines.
According to Nation on Sunday findings, the monthly total earnings for the trio come up to around 2.3 million.