Flames coach Kinnah Phiri on Tuesday expressed disappointment with former Flames mentor Kim Splidsboel whom he accused of not telling the truth about the availability of veteran forward Esau Kanyenda for next monthâ€™s 2014 World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Kinnah claimed he was not amused to learn that Kanyenda, who is set to sign for Danish Second Division East side B 1893, will not be released for national duty.
However, Splidsboel who facilitated Kanyendaâ€™s move, on Tuesday retorted that the player is not on holiday, but trying to revive his career.
Said Kinnah: “Esau [Kanyenda] was in my plans for the forthcoming games because I wanted him to guide the other strikers owing to his vast experience. That is why I even included him for the trip to China.
“And when I spoke to Kim [Splidsboel] recently, I made it clear to him that I would need Esau for the forthcoming games. Actually, he [Kim] assured me that Esau would be released for the games, but according to the information I am getting now, he wonâ€™t be available.
“To be honest, I am very disappointed because we have three crucial games coming up and we needed to have Esau.”
But Splidsboel yesterday confirmed that Kanyenda will not be released as he has to feature in the remaining seven games for his prospective new Danish club that is fighting relegation.
“He is not here for holiday! We want him to play the next seven games and we hope other stakeholders will understand that it is about his future and also his career.
“Esau has not played any games for the last four to five months and he has [the] hunger to revive his career and maybe get a permanent contract with a top club in Denmark or somewhere else and for that to happen, he needs to play,” wrote Splidsboel in an e-mail response to a questionnaire.
He added: “I want to help him [Esau] and also Malawi. I hope he can stay for the next month and that he should not just sit on the bench for the national team.
“It is also about understanding the playerâ€™s benefit. I will be disappointed if he could leave again for national duty.”
The former Flames mentor suggested that other strikers can fill Kanyendaâ€™s role.
“[I am sure] there must be other fit strikers at the moment who can replace him in the next three games. You will get a more fit and competitive Esau Kanyenda at a later stage. Now, he has to concentrate on putting his career back on track.
“In this regard, I hope to get the understanding from the national coach and FAM which I have good relationship with. Esauâ€™s move could open doors for other Malawi players to come to Denmark and also for the national teamâ€™s future preparations for important games and tournaments,” said Splidsboel.
Kanyenda himself could not be reached for comment Tuesday.