Flames coach Kinnah Phiri was subjected to a torrid time by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive committee at the weekend which turned on him as the reality and pain of the teamâ€™s poor showing continues to take its toll on the soccer fraternity.
Kinnah was taken to task by the executive committee during a meeting held at Chiwembe Technical Centre on Saturday where it was also agreed that his contract should be performance-based.
The development follows the Flames failure to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations at the last hurdle after bowing out 3-0 on aggregate to Ghanaâ€™s Black Stars.
It is reported that the FAM executive committee, led by its president Walter Nyamilandu, expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the team and took turns to grill the coach about selection and fielding criteria and game tactics, among other things.
Kinnah was also taken to task by some fans who demanded his removal soon after the Flames exit at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Nyamilandu confirmed in an interview on Monday that the coach was indeed grilled over the teamâ€™s poor showing.
“Members indeed expressed their dissatisfaction with the performance of the team.
“They were of the view that with good preparations and sound tactical discipline, we should have qualified for the Nations Cup because as far as we were concerned, Ghana were a beatable side,” said Nyamilandu.
“Having looked at the report, the meeting noted that the coachâ€™s game plan was foiled due to individual errors, particularly in the away game.
“It was also observed that we conceded an early goal in the return match that put the game plan in disarray,” he said.
He, therefore, said members resolved that his contract should now be performance-based whereby FAM should be able to set targets based on the competitions that the team will be involved in for the next two years.
“But there was also a general feeling that the team needs to be well supported and concerns were raised on delayed fundingâ€”where funding comes in at the last minute and this affects the morale and spirit of the team.
“We also discussed the issue of player incentives as our team remains one of the lowest paid in the region.
“So, while we are pursuing the contract of the coach, he also needs to be given the necessary support, we had to look at both sides of the coin. We looked at the issue holistically because it would be naive for us to look at the tactical aspect only without looking into the sources that would determine the improved performance of the team,” said Nyamilandu.
The FAM president described the discussion as open.
“Of course, a lot of hard questions were asked and he was able to justify and back up his decisions because we looked at things such as selection, fielding, tactical approach and style of play and he was able to defend his position,” said Nyamilandu.
Kinnah confirmed that he had to answer some difficult questions, but was quick to describe the meeting as cordial.
“As expected, there were indeed some tough questions that were asked and I was able to answer them very well.
“That said, it was an amicable meeting. There was no finger-pointing and I was happy that the issue tackled at length the need to support my programmes. Another serious aspect that was looked at was the need to send me for a refresher or advanced course,” said Kinnah.
However, the Flames mentor said he had no problems with the decision by his masters to set targets for him based on the teamâ€™s performance.
“Well, they are my employers and there is nothing I can say on that. The only thing I will ask for is full support from all concerned stakeholders, including government and the fans,” said Kinnah.