Guinea coach Luis Fernandez is reported to have been startled after learning that there was no Europe-based player in the Flames team that featured in a 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon)qualifier in Conakry.
The Flames held Syli Nationale to a goalless draw and according to assistant coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan, Fernandez was baffled that despite their breathtaking skills, there was none who plies his trade overseas.
“I had a good chat with the coach after the match in French and he asked me how many Europe-based players we had in the team and when I told him that there was none, he could not believe it.
“He appeared highly impressed with the team, especially the fact that they were able to play as a unit,” said Ramadhan.
Fernandez, 56, is a former French international who played for Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and among other teams, he has also managed Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol in Spain.
Malawi has only two Europe-based players—the Chimodzi brothers Young Jnr and Tawonga—who are based in Greece but are not currently considered for national duty.
Meanwhile, the Guinea coach faces the possibility of a contract termination depending on the outcome of today’s qualifier.
The Syli Nationale are languishing at the bottom of Group L behind leaders Zimbabwe, second-placed Swaziland and third-placed Malawi, a ranking that has sparked the anger of fans who have demanded the departure of the Frenchman.
Media reports indicate that the coach was summoned by Guinea FA officials where the ultimatum was issued.