Flames interim coach Eddington Ng’onamo has introduced a players’ disciplinary code expected to arrest indiscipline which undermines the senior national team’s performance.
Upon reporting for camp training, players are now required to sign the code which stipulates the dos and don’ts and corresponding punishments, such as expulsion and fines, for offences ranging from reporting late for training, camp and general indiscipline.
Team manager Charles Manda confirmed the development during the week.
“This is a first for the national team. It is meant to give players an idea of what is expected of them in terms of their conduct and the consequences for non-adherence. We do not want cases where players are in the wrong, yet there is no documentation to justify offence,” Manda explained.
The code will be binding every time players are in camp. The documents, which also stipulate usage and care of the Flames equipment, also restricts players from granting media interviews.
Former coach Kinnah Phiri’s tenure was riddled with reports of players going out of camp and reporting late.
Fischer Kondowe was dropped at Kamuzu International Airport when the Flames were bound for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola for allegedly breaking camp rules. Last year, Dave Banda and Frank Banda were suspended for a similar offence. In other cases, players take with them Flames kits.
“It is only in Malawi where players are punished without being heard. I have played professional football at three top clubs in South Africa where players are called to a disciplinary hearing for any charge,” Kondowe told the Nation on Sunday’s last edition.
Manda said the code would help reduce suspicion that coaches unfairly penalise some players, adding that the new arrangement protects both players and coaches.
One of the Flames players to have signed the document welcomed the new arrangement but called for equal enforcement of the code.
“On a lighter note, the code has so many penalties….I am sure we will be scoring many penalty goals,” he said.