Finally Malawi government has endorsed FAM’s decision to fire the entire Flames coaching panel comprising coach Kinnah Phiri, his deputy Young Chimodzi and technical adviser Jack Chamangwana.
However, following separate hearings that were conducted recently, Malawi government has since redeployed the trio to the Regional Sports Development Offices of the Malawi National Council of Sports with immediate effect.
And reacting to the development, Kinnah said he would have to consult with his employers before coming up with a decision while in principle, both Chimodzi and Chamangwana indicated that they had accepted government’s decision.
Said Kinnah: “I have not yet received official communication from government pertaining to that.
“However, once I get the communication I will consult with my lawyers [Wilson and Morgan] and then map the way forward because I was employed as national football coach. And based on that, I am afraid I cannot say whether or not I have accepted the relocation.”
On his part, Chimodzi said he had accepted his new role, but was quick to point out that it will all depend on the terms to be put forward by government.
“I have been informed verbally about the decision and I have received it well, but I will have to look at the terms before I can make a commitment.
“I think the most important thing will be to look at the terms and then take it up from there,” said Chimodzi.
Chamangwana said he had accepted his redeployment.
“I have no problems with that afterall, I am a government employee. I am not bitter at all and I will be committed to my new role,” said Chamangwana who doubled as Football Association of Malawi (FAM) technical director.
Reacting to the development, seasoned football commentator and former sports minister Moses Dossi, described it as a win-win situation.
“My personal view is that government has redeployed these gentlemen to avoid compensating them in millions of Kwacha.
“Nevertheless, it is a good move because the three tacticians will continue to be involved towards the development of the game in the country. So, I would say it is a fair deal, but the crucial part will be their terms of reference,” said Dossi.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Youth and Sports signed by Principal Secretary II Justin Saidi, having considered all the facts in the matter and having heard the trio’s side of the story, government felt it wise to endorse Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) decision.
The statement further states that Kinnah has been relocated to the North while Chimodzi and Chamangwana have been redeployed to the Centre and South respectively.
“Having considered that the three members of the technical panel are employees of government and that FAM did not anymore wish for their service to the national football team, the ministry has henceforth resolved that the recommendation by the association to dissolve the technical panel due to poor performance, be respected and let it to stand as it is aimed at bettering the performance of the national team.
“Furthermore, this is also in consideration and understanding of the fact that the ministry has no mandate what-so-ever to interfere in programs and activities or management of the national football team or FAM as promulgated by Fifa,” reads part of the statement released on Friday.
It further states that the trio should be recalled from FAM’s technical panel.
“Government in its continued effort of sports service to the nation, has therefore with immediate effect relocated Messrs Kinnah Phiri, Young Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana to Regional Sports Development Offices of Sports Council,” reads the statement further.
The statement also states that mindful to the fact that the three are employees of the government under contract, and in keeping with dictates of the labour law, held disciplinary hearings with the said members to hear their side of the story on the matter.
“This is in line with the Employment Act where an employee is given a fair hearing before any decision against him/her is made,” reads the statement.
It also stated that during the hearing, it was noted that the performance of the Flames continued to dwindle such that within the contract period [between July 1 and August 1 2012 respectively], the team only won three out of nine games and lost the rest.
“FAM had lost trust and confidence in the technical panel such that they could no longer entrust them to continue coaching the national football team.
“The responsibility of identifying new players to beef up the national football team to make it a winning side remained elusive to the technical panel as exhibited by the achievements of the team in the period of their service as members of the team’s technical panel,” the statement further read.