Even amid calls for his head by a section of the soccer fans, Malawi national football coach Kinnah Phiri put his foot down and declared that he will not quit his position.
Fed up by a string of draws, some fans led the clamour and bayed for Kinnahâ€™s blood soon after the Flames escaped defeat by the skin of their teeth when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Nigeriaâ€™s Super Eagles in a 2014 World Cup qualifier at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday.
The disgruntled fans chanted â€˜Kinnah achoke! Kinnah achoke!â€™ (Kinnah should be fired!).
However, Kinnah on Sunday insisted he will not bow to pressure and accused his critics of being driven by tribal motives.
â€œI heard those calls, but I wonâ€™t listen to them. I am not going to quit because those are people driven by tribalistic motives and pure jealousy.
â€œWhy should I resign? After all, I am building a team and it is showing a lot of promise. Of course, we are struggling to score, but that doesnâ€™t mean we are hopeless,â€ said Kinnah.
He added: â€œI am a professional, I wonâ€™t be driven out by misguided people with hidden motives, I donâ€™t mind what they say. My contract is expiring later this month and let my employers judge me.â€
Asked if the string of draws was not enough reason for him to bow down, Kinnah said: â€œLook, building a team is not an overnight exercise. The team is playing very well, we are only lacking the killer punch and other than bow down to calls, I would rather concentrate on our weak area, which is finishing.â€
The Flames legend also stated that he will rectify the scoring problem.
â€˜Kinnah has run out of ideasâ€™
However, football commentator and former FAM acting chief executive officer George Kaudza-Masina said Kinnah should appreciate the harsh reality that he has run out of ideas.
â€œWe have not won in six competitive games and if he was professional enough, this was the time to bow out other than be forced out.
â€œHe is a legend and needs to protect the integrity left of him, let him pave way for others,â€ said Kaudza-Masina.
However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu described the criticism on Kinnah as unfortunate.
â€œThose were unfortunate comments. You can see that Kinnah has built a good team and I donâ€™t think he [Kinnah] deserved what other quarters were saying. I wonder what those critics would have said had we converted at least two or three of the chances we created and won the game?
â€œHowever, having said that, it was very clear that our finishing is very bad. The fact that we are creating opportunities shows that we are moving towards the right direction. What people are forgetting is that we are building a team,â€ said Nyamilandu.
â€˜He is building a teamâ€™
Former FAM CEO Charles Nyirenda also threw his weight behind Kinnah saying: â€œWe have to learn to see positives in negatives. He [Kinnah] is building a new team and our boys were up against a continental giant on Saturday and they showed a lot of character.
â€œThe coach needs to be given a bit of time to complete the rebuilding process,â€ said Nyirenda.