Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has told government that it removed MeckMwase as Flames coach because he failed to meet the set targets in his new contract.
This is contained in a report which the association submitted to the Ministry of Youth and Sports through Malawi National Council of Sports which Weekend Nation has seen.
The report followed Sports Council’s order that FAM should explain the reasons for redeploying Mwase and hiring of Mario Marinica as his replacement.
It was also presented to FAM technical sub-committee during a meeting held last Saturday in Blantyre.
In the report, FAM states that upon recommending Mwase’s new two-year contract to government after guiding the Flames to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, it set new targets which included winning the Cosafa Cup and collecting a minimum of six points in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
FAM also states that the coach was challenged “to rebuild the Flames in a systematic transition way by bringing in new young players to replace old underperforming guards while maintaining high performance”.
Reads the report in part: “However, after eight months and 11 games post the Afcon qualification, the team’s performance went miserably down and Mwase failed to deliver some key targets such as:
“Failing to go past the group stages of the Cosafa Cup after failing to win a single match;Clung to old and non-performing players and failed to systematically bring in new players; Performed miserably in the World Cup qualifiers, losing five of the six matches and finishing bottom of the group.”
In the period under review, the Flames played eight matches, won once, lost eight and drew three, representing a nine percent winning rate, 18 perent for draws and 73 percent losses.
It says that a review of the statistics by the FAM executive committee exposedMwase’s technical and tactical deficiencies.
“[The executive committee] resolved that with such a record, the Flames stood no chance at Afcon against giants like Zimbabwe, Guinea and Senegal if FAM maintained the status quo.
“The executive decided to temporarily bring on board newly-recruited technical director Mario Marinica to head the Flames technical panel at Afcon.
“Mwase was made assistant and was informed the status will be reviewed after Afcon [and] it was made clear [that] a return to the earlier arrangement would not be automatic,” the report further reads.
The former Flames coach yesterday said he could not comment as the issue is in the hands of his lawyers.
On the choice of Marinica, FAM says the Romanian made radical changes in the team’s style of play.
Reads the report further: “He brought in new players based on club form and these are players Mwase ignored in preference to old guards and benchwarmers.
“The new young players did not disappoint and were among the best performers at Afcon.The Flames played with a purpose and proper system. The team was organised and compact.”
FAM claims it was clear that everybody was impressed with the Flames’ performance under Marinica.
It said: “After Afcon review, FAM executive unanimously agreed that the team was much better with Marinica than Mwaseand that he should continue as head coach.
“Marinica will help us build our national teams through the transition approach and not the generational approach we have been using in the past.”
Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa confirmed in an interview yesterday that FAM submitted the report and it has since been forwarded to government.
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka also confirmed submission of the report, but could not be drawn to comment further, saying it was confidential.
But a member of the FAM technical sub-committee Yasin Osman confirmed that the issue was discussed during their meeting.
He said: “I am not mandated to speak, but I can confirm that we did discuss the issue.
“We wanted to appreciate why the coach was redeployed as well as the hiring of Marinica. We were of the view that the review should have been done by us and the recommendations should have also been made by us to the FAM executive.
“Nevertheless, we felt the reasons given by the FAM executive for the removal of the coach and hiring of Marinicawere satisfactory because the statistics were self-explanatory.”
However, quoting Article 42 (j) of the FAM statues, Zakazaka said FAM can appoint or redeploy a coach without the involvement of its technical sub-committee.
“The technical sub-committee is just an advisory committee. That is why the FAM executive appointed Mwase as Flames coach when the technical committee recommended someone else,” he said.