Despite government rejecting Football Association of Malawi (FAM) proposal to hire an expatriate coach for the Flames, the association has stuck to its guns to employ one.
This follows a resolution made on Saturday by FAM extraordinary executive committee meeting.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said the association will meet the costs of the coach’s perks through a yet to be disclosed partner.
“We are discussing with well-wishers and potential partners and there are some leads that we are following, that is why we have already started the recruitment process. Of course, we have lost some of the short-listed coaches due to the delay, but there still remain a few that we are talking to,” he said.
However, Nyamilandu was elusive on the identity of the partner: “We will be definite once the discussions are finalised.”
In a press release issued yesterday, FAM stated that “the experienced expatriate coach” will be assisted by two local coaches.
“The recruitment process has since commenced and the coach will be in place by the time the Flames start preparations for Chan qualifiers.”
However, Nyamilandu kept a tight lid on the identity of the short-listed candidates, saying: “Some of the candidates are employed, so we have to keep confidentiality.”
He also kept the identities of the prospective local assistant coaches under wraps, saying they were still in discussions with their respective clubs.
Asked on the criteria used to identify the local coaches, the FAM boss said: “These are the coaches that we have been working with. They have been with Under-17 and Under-20 national teams. Their teams have been doing well in the Super League and they have the required CAF A licences.”
He also said the package that government provides for the coach and his assistant will cater for the two prospective assistant coaches.
But The Nation findings indicate that FAM has settled for Azam Tigers mentor Gerald Phiri and his Blue Eagles counterpart Deklerk Msakakuona.
According to the press release, discussions with the local coaches, their respective clubs and other relevant stakeholders on the scope of their work and responsibility are underway.
“Once agreed, appropriate communication will be made to the general public and all the stakeholders.”
On why FAM reconsidered its decision to pull out from the continental competitions, Nyamilandu said there is a renewed commitment from government on the issue of funding.
“I have been in touch with the Minister [of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development] Honourable Henry Mussa on regular basis and the next step is to meet the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development [Goodall Gondwe] where we will make a presentation, justifying our case,” he said.
Mussa confirmed that discussions are underway and there seem to be positive signs for a fruitful outcome.
And in the press release, the association further states that there have been a number of discussions with government, Fifa and other international partners as well as well-wishers on the possible participation in the two competitions.
“It has become apparent in these discussions that there is obvious concern from government, our partners and well-wishers on the prospect of the team’s withdrawal from the above competitions. Accordingly, some form of commitments and assurances have been made on the financial support for the team in these two competitions, in the short-term, and its future programmes, in the long-term.”