Malawi national football team (the Flames) captain Peter Mponda has faulted FAM for failing to stamp its authority on Flames coaches’ removal, thereby making it dance to Sports Ministry’s tune.
Mponda and other football analysts were asked on what Malawi can learn from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations when identifying the next Flames coach.
“The biggest problem is that FAM people mislead the president [Walter Nyamilandu]. These amateurs have failed the president. How could FAM decide to fire the coaches before identifying a caretaker? Many Flames coaches have been fired before and why is FAM allowing itself to be dictated by the minister? It all points to one thing; that Walter [Nyamilandu] has been failed,” said Mponda.
He said he was not surprised with FAM’s indecision as it is only Nyamilandu who has played football at the highest level; hence, the rest cannot offer the president sound advice.
“I thought from the Sports Ministry there is the Sports Council, then FAM? Why should the minister be dealing directly with the coaches’ issue instead of just funding the national team programmes?”
He said the next coach should be able to balance between managing the team’s transition and delivering the goods.
But a FAM executive member, who preferred not to be named, blamed government for the mess on the coaching issue, saying it rushed against FAM’s advice into renewing the coaches’ contracts.
Nyamilandu was preoccupied when contacted twice on Monday.
Veteran football scout Ben Chiwaya advised FAM to hire a coach from eastern Europe and start a new era by addressing Flames’ short-term concerns and also long-term youth football development as German Manfred Hoener did.
FAM is in a dilemma on hiring a stand-in coach as government has reassigned Kinnah, Young Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana as regional coaches for the North, Centre and South respectively, meaning it would require additional money to pay a caretaker coach.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda on Monday admitted that a new Flames coach can only be hired after the current financial year in July. Nyirenda said FAM would make a statement on the interim coach in a few days time.
Last week, the ministry’s Principal Secretary II Justin Saidi justified its involvement in the coaches’ issue.
“I think it would have been government interference if we were imposing decisions on the association. But in this particular case, we are coming in as an interested party since these are our employees and they enjoy government benefits. So, we have to make sure that proper procedures are followed in accordance with the Employment Act,” Saidi said recently.