Fired Flames coach Kinnah Phiri claims he suspected he would not see out his two-year contract considering events that characterised his third term in charge.
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) confirmed that its emergency executive committee meeting held on Saturday agreed to sack Kinnah and his entire backroom staff owing to the team’s poor performance.
Kinnah also confirmed being informed about his firing by FAM president Walter Nyamilandu on Saturday, but was quick to point out that he saw it coming.
“The president [Nyamilandu] informed me about the development yesterday [Saturday]. I think it was something that was planned and I saw it coming because there were some executive members, especially those based in Lilongwe, who were pressing for our removal. There were also negative comments from some big people,” said Kinnah.
‘It is part of life’
But how did he take the news?
“Well, it is part of life. What else can I say? I took it calmly and I am not bitter at all, life has to go on. I thank both FAM and government for their support. For those that did not wish me well, I wish them all the best as well.”
Kinnah insisted that he did not fail because no benchmarks were set, so it cannot be concluded that he failed.
On his future he said: “We will see how it goes as there are contractual issues to be looked into as I had just done six months of the two-year contract.”
Chimodzi could not be reached for comment whereas Chamangwana said he was still digesting the events.
Part of the statement from FAM, signed by chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda, reads: “Plans will be taken to fill the vacant positions that have been created in the shortest time possible mindful that the Malawi national team will need to thoroughly prepare for the  World Cup whose next match is in March against Namibia.”
FAM also stated that consultations are underway with the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports as well as Sports Council on recruitment of successors.
Flames captain Peter Mponda described the upshot as shocking.
“It is difficult to comment. Of course, the team had been struggling of late probably because of the rebuilding exercise timing. However, there was still need for a critical review of the whole situation because firing the coaches might not be the solution, but I am afraid we have to respect the authorities’ decision. They probably had reasons for their decision,” said Mponda.
Seasoned soccer commentator Charles Nyirenda questioned when FAM realised the poor performance of the coaching panel considering that their contracts were only renewed recently.
“From the look of things, one would be tempted to conclude that they have taken that decision due to pressure from other quarters,” said Nyirenda,
He was elusive about his stand on the sacking of the coaches, but said FAM’s technical subcommittee needs to share the blame on the performance of the team.