FAM has said it is exploring possibilities of engaging an expatriate coach to take over from Kinnah Phiri as government has endorsed the firing of the entire Flames coaching panel.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said while the decision on the way forward will be made after thorough consultations with government and Sports Council, the intention is to engage an expatriate coach.
“The inclination now is for an expatriate coach,” he said.
Asked when they would want to have a new coach in place, the FAM president said: “As soon as possible, if all goes well, we would want to have a coach by the end of the month.”
But FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda on Sunday said a caretaker coach might be named by Wednesday to prepare the team for the proposed international friendly match on February 6.
Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana said on Sunday the responsibility of engaging coaches rests in the hands of FAM as they are the technocrats.
“There is nothing we can do about it other than support FAM’s decision because they are the ones who work directly with the coaches.
“So, if they [FAM] felt that they no longer needed the services of the national coach and his backroom staff, there is nothing we can do about it. They have made a decision and we support it.
“They are the technocrats, we only finance the coaches’ pay and that is why I suggested that FAM should discuss the issue with officials from my ministry as well as Sports Council on the way forward. We will just wait for the appropriate communication from FAM, but their president [Walter Nyamilandu] briefed me about it,” said Chihana.
He also said the relevant authorities will meet soon to map the way forward.
“We will have to sort out their [fired coaches] contractual issues while at the same time look at who will take over based on the recommendation from FAM and that will be done in the shortest time possible considering that the new panel will have to prepare the team for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifier against Namibia in March,” he said.
But Chihana said government appreciates the role that the three played.
“We should not turn a blind eye to what Kinnah, Young Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana have done for the development of our game both as players and tacticians.
“These are real heroes and our living legends. I vividly remember that Jack was the captain while Chimodzi was also an integral part of the team whereas Kinnah was the team manager,” he said.
He, however, said their exit does not mean the door has been completely slammed on them.
“They just need a breath of fresh air to get some new ideas and who knows, they could come back at a later stage. So, we do not need to forsake them. They remain an important part of our game.”
Player scout Ben Chiwaya supported the move to hire an expatriate, but said there is need for FAM to cast the net wider.
“They should not be in a hurry. There are a number of good coaches in Eastern Europe and South America. With proper focus, they should be able to get one,” said Chiwaya.
He suggested the need to consider up-and-coming local coaches such as South Africa-based Ernest Mtawali, Patrick Mabedi and John Maduka as well as Blantyre United’s Elia Kananji to understudy the expatriate.