It is now official. Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has endorsed its technical subcommittee’s recommendation to fire coach Ernest Mtawali.
“FAM hereby informs the general public that its executive committee has resolved to recommend to Malawi government that the employment contracts of the head coach, Mr. Ernest Mtawali and his assistant Mr. Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan should not be renewed upon expiry on July 31 2016. This decision has been made as a result of poor performance of the Malawi national football team over the past year,” reads a statement from FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda released yesterday.
FAM has also adopted the recommendation to reengage Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan as caretaker coach for the Flames remaining Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland on September 3.
“In the interim, FAM will engage the services of Mr. Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan as a caretaker coach from 10th August 2016 for a period of one month to take charge of the Malawi national football team in the last match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland.”
Mtawali was not available for comment, but when the technical subcommittee’s report was leaked to the press, the coach said he respected FAM’s decision.
The report recommended to the executive committee the firing of Mtawali for failing to fulfil his duties and responsibilities.
The report reads: “The head coach lacks technical ability in terms of selection of players for a call-up, planning for training, planning for a game, decision making during a game, as well as preparation of Technical Match Reports. It was very clear from the reports that have been presented to the subcommittee that the head coach is either not interested or is incapable of coming up with a technically analytical report after a game. It was also very clear that the head coach did not really have credible criteria for selecting players to the call up.”
During his tenure in which Malawi were booted out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, 2018 World Cup and 2016 Cosafa Cup, the Flames played 15 games—won five, lost six and drew four.
Mtawali’s Flames beat Tanzania, Sudan, Djibouti, Angola and Mauritius. The team drew against Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Namibia and the six losses were against Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Guinea, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.
However, analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that firing Mtawali was not a solution to the dwindling standards of the sport in the country.
“In my opinion, it is how much support we gave the coach that we should be looking at here. Did he get the support he needed to bring the desired results? That is the question,” he said.