Former Flames captain Joseph Kamwendo has said he is being persecuted by the Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan-led technical panel following his reaction towards the rift between the Flames care-taker coach and his former boss Ernest Mtawali.
Kamwendo said he criticised Ramadhan on his contribution to the visible cracks that were there between the assistant coach and his boss Mtawali.
The Mulcumana midfielder said he confronted the Flames technical panel members while at Namibia Cosafa Cup on the consequences of the divisions in the squad which were a result of the rift between the two coaches.
Kamwendo said: “I was going to ask myself a lot of questions if I was left out of the squad based on performance. I believe I was one of top performers at the Cosafa Cup in Namibia. But I knew that if [Ramadhan] was to be made coach, I was not going to make it because of what I told them while in Namibia in front of all my teammates.”
The midfielder was commenting for the first time on Ramadhan’s decision to drop him from the squad that faces Swaziland on September 3 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Ironically, Mtawali also dropped Kamwendo in the first leg against Swaziland in his first Afcon qualifier in August 2015.
“I have done my research; Joseph Kamwendo has been our leader for the past 10 years but he has not been active at his club TP Mazembe,” Mtawali had said.
However, he was recalled in the double qualifier against Guinea in February this year.
On his being left out, Kamwendo said he was not bitter with the coach’s decision.
“This has happened to me many times but I always come back. I will be back because I am not yet finished. Having represented my motherland for over a decade, I feel proud and I don’t take that for granted. I will always be available when needed,” he said.
Ramadhan, who replaced Mtawali despite a vote of no confidence for both coaches due to poor performance, refused to comment.
However, when releasing the squad for Swaziland during the week, the coach indicated that he had picked players which he believed would help him restore the Flames’ pride after disappointing campaign in 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations, 2018 World Cup qualification and 2016 Cosafa Cup.