Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) has brushed off suggestions that his ‘kind’ gestures towards local football are aimed at swaying the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) into renewing his contract.
Apart from arranging the Under-23 national team’s camping trip to his native Belgium, RVG has also pledged to donate 25 sets of uniforms nationwide in the countdown to his contract expiry on April 1.
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina faulted RVG on the timing of the gesture.
“The gesture is good, but then the timing raises questions about his intentions coming at a time when his contract is up for appraisal.
“It is not different to politicians who give handouts to people whenever elections are around the corner. It is not different to this,” he said.
But on his part, RVG sounding ice-cool, said: “It is just a mere coincidence that this is happening at a time when my contract is due for expiry, but it has absolutely nothing to do with that.
“I think it will be unfair to think along those lines. The Belgium camping was timely as the Under-23 side needed intense preparations before taking on Zambia [in joint 2020 Olympics and Under-23 Afcon] qualifiers,” he said.
On the donation of equipment, the coach said her negotiated for it from clubs, sports shops, family and friends when he travelled to his home country for the festive season.
“In fact, it was not the first time I have done that. Last year, I also did the same to women and youth teams.
“So, people should not read much into this gesture, I am doing it purely for the development of the game,” he said.
However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) technical subcommittee chairperson James Mwenda, who is also the association’s vice-president, said
“I do not think we can be swayed into considering the coach’s contract can be renewed based on such gestures and it would be an exaggeration to link it to that,” he said.n