Four days before the expiry of Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden’s (RVG) contract, some expatriates have already shown interest to take over from the Belgian.
However, Football Associations of Malawi (FAM) says as of now there is no vacancy for the job and that its executive committee is yet to meet and decide on the future of RVG.
So far, Jorge Añón De Leon (Uruguay), Fredrico Azolez (Peru) and Vincenzo Alberto Annese (Italy) have expressed interest in the Flames coaching job.
De Leon, 58, ISEF A Licence holder and former Granada and Indonesia national team coach, said his interest in the Flames coaching job is because of his background in youth development.
“I would like to develop Malawi’s up-and-coming players in the national team,” he said.
Annese, 34, a Uefa Pro coach currently head coach of Liga 1 Indonesia club PSIS Semarang, said he is also interested in working as Malawi national team coach.
Portuguese coaches’ manager Carlos Paulo and Falope Ayotunde from Cameroon, have also recommended their clients for the Flames coaching job, but did not disclose their names.
The Flames are set to play Swaziland on April 20 in a Championship of African Nations (Chan) match and Cosafa Cup in May; hence, FAM is in a race against time to make a decision on the future of RVG, who reportedly bid farewell to players after his last assignment in 2019 Afcon qualifier against Morocco which ended goalless in Lilongwe.
However, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said there is no need to panic as the association will ensure that there is no vacuum.
“The executive committee will be meeting during the first week of April to deliberate on the matter and make a final decision.
“Whatever the outcome, we will ensure that there is no vacuum when we face Swaziland in the Chan qualifier,” he said.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda has advised FAM to go for a local coach and not an expatriate again.
“Mind you, we already know how things have not worked out with RVG. It would be foolhardy to hire another expatriate coach again. Let FAM hire a local coach and give him maximum support,” he said.
Under RVG in his two year contract, Malawi won two games, drew 11 and lost eight, sparking calls for his firing from fans and government.
However, RVG takes responsibility of 19 games saying he did not pick the players for Kenya friendly and Madagascar 2018 Chan qualifier first leg despite Nyamilandu stressing in April 2017 when RVG was unveiled that he would start his job immediately with the two fixtures. n