Flames coach Meck Mwase has dispelled fears that some national team players are being imposed on him, saying he is in control of the selection process.
The coach’s sentiments come after some quarters questioned whether he was in control of the players selection, especially after some new faces were included in the squad that is expected to play Tanzania in a friendly match next week.
Despite mentioning that he wants to maintain the players he has worked with in the past year, Mwase has called new faces Greece-based Tawonga Chimodzi and Scotland-based Kieran Ngwenya.
Soccer analyst George Chiusiwa questioned whether the coach is in control or he has been pressured into calling up some of the players in the squad.
He said: “Who is now making technical decisions for coach Meck Mwase regarding the Malawi national football team, the Flames? The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) should tread very carefully on this.
“The coach’s independent technical decision-making pertaining to such aspects as calling up the players for national duty is essential and should be respected. Otherwise, we don’t want a puppet Flames coach.”
But in an interview, Mwase said he is in control of the team regarding selection of players.
He said: “This is my job. I make decisions considering that I am responsible and no-one else. It is me who will be fired if things go wrong. So I will never allow to put my destiny in other people’s hands by allowing them, whatever their position or power, to impose decisions on me regarding the Flames technical issues.
“All final decisions in regard to national team selection are done by me in consultation with my technical panel. I have the final say on whatever happens within the team.”
The coach, however, confirmed that ‘other people’ do suggest players which the national team technical panel should consider calling for camp.
He said: “Our door is open. We talk to people and get suggestions or ideas on players, style of play, approach to matches. Even you, the media, give us ideas and suggestions just like former players, our fellow coaches and former coaches even ordinarily football followers. But we use that to just get insights to enable us make proper decisions. But no-one influences our decisions.”
To confirm that he is in charge, Mwase said he decided to drop some players such as the current TNM Super League top scorer Maxwell Gasten Phodo, despite calls for him to be in the squad.
He said: “This is why some players are not in camp yet others feel they should be there while others are in camp while others feel they should not be there.
“So, I want to put it on record that no one influences or imposes decisions on me and my panel. All final decisions are my own.”
There has been a scramble to play for the Flames following Malawi’s qualification to the 2021 Cameroon African Cup of Nations.